Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Organics Bin

I was impressed when I found this organics bin at our holiday house. It's a service provided by the Alexandrina council as part of their Zero Waste Strategy. Basically it replaces your compost bin and it certainly made me happy not to have to bin food scraps while we were away.

Whilst I'm personally happy with our compost bins at home, I know their are some people who view it with an ick factor. So I think this would be a really great alternative for councils to offer. All the standard conditions apply like no meat or dairy.

Alexandrina Council also offer separate bays at their tips (waste depots) for compostable green organics. This is separate from trees and prunings from gardens. Interestingly they also discount depot fees if you already have your rubbish pre-sorted for recycling.

It's lovely to see some councils going to extra mile to encourage people to be more sustainable.

Hmm phone anyone??

Well we were greeted with a storm on Saturday afternoon, after we arrived home. And said storm knocked over a tree, which in turn took out our phone line. So we've had no phone or internet until lunchtime today!

Now I can live without the internet but have found it incredibly frustrating to live without the phone. We have terrible mobile reception where we are so cant rely on mobiles. So it's been very silent and my to do list has grown to immense proportions.

We are having Little B's birthday party soon and I still have a few things I'd like to organise. And yay now I can :-)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Road Trip

Well we had a wonderful trip to Adelaide. The days ranged between 29 and 35 degrees, we spent most mornings and evenings at the beach, we saw the sights, we chilled out and relaxed at our holiday abode and most importantly had a fantastic time catching up with my extended family.

Little B especially loved spending time with his great grandparents. They in turn enjoyed chatting and spending time with him. My grandfather is a well known painter in the area and really enjoyed painting and drawing time with Little B. My grandma just loved sneaking kisses and cuddles with him.

It was quite poignant for me as it will probably be the last time that I see them. Our final day involved a lunch with all the relatives and the two gorgeous great grand kiddies with their Great Grammy & Great Grampy centre stage.

As much as I love having a break, coming home has been lovely too. Not least because I got to see my gorgeous husband!! We’ve moseyed our way through this afternoon chatting, playing, unpacking and baking – bread, a lovely veggie stew for dinner and a Mr B’s favourite pudding as he has been super looking forward to some home cooked loveliness.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Creative Space

From this

To This

Such a simple pattern but as a sewing beginner, I really love my finished product!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hit the road, Jack

Picture courtesy of www.keyposters.com

Hooray, we’re off on an intergenerational road trip. Granny B, Little B and I are off to visit my grandparents, Great Grammy & Great Grampy.

In our trusty little car, we’re off to a seaside locale in South Australia, with a few side stops along the way.

Travelling with Little B and his allergies is no mean feat but our holiday house has a kitchen and is not off the beaten track so we’re hoping for the best :-)

Here’s hoping for some sunshine!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Little B received this book from his beloved auntie recently and we both love it.

It’s an ABC book from the National Gallery of Victoria and uses different art works and types of art to show the letters in the alphabet. It’s been great as it shows things Little B loves like utes, dogs and turtles in such a variety of ways. Photos, oil paintings and weaving to name a few.

I love that it doesn’t dumb down or babify the alphabet and also that in doing so it allows your little to investigate art.

Definitely a great addition to your library :-)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Healing my body with my mind

The hardest thing about being sick and physically weak is the way it has prevented me from doing normal everyday things. I hate being limited in my gardening, prevented from my dancing (which is like telling me to stop breathing) and the way it has inhibited my day to day relationship with Little B.

I hate not being able to play soccer with him, or pick him up, or even having to lie down because I literally cant physically stand anymore that day. But I refuse to be defeated or brow beaten by this.

So how do I keep my spirits up? With friendship, love and positivity.

Friends have been amazingly supportive. One friend gave me all of her boy’s old size 3 & 4 clothes. Another lent me her small sized clothing till I could get a few things together. My closest friend has just let me talk and talk until I felt calm again as our boys played together.

Granny B has been a dream – letting us move in, being a sounding board and an amazing emotional support. Mr B has been my rock - he has loved, supported and cared for me through the start of getting sick until this diagnosis. Then when we moved house, he did all the back breaking physical labour so I could still have a vegie garden to tend.

I am surrounded by love, friendship and support. This allows me to charge on and stay positive. To fight the good fight even when I’d rather scream than see another doctor or have another blood test.

I focus on and enjoy the little things everyday – being out in the sunshine, reading a good book, learning to sew, cuddles with Little B, chatting with friends and listening to great tunes. I will get better. I simply refuse to contemplate any other option!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lazy Sundays

Artwork by Art Harrison
- mixed lettuce, baby spinach, roma tomatoes
- yet another round of Lebanese cucumbers (that’s 12 seedlings that have been eaten so far by snails / slugs…grrrr)

- Banana & Date Muesli Slice
- Grilled fish & roasted vegetable salad
- and we started a bake-a-thon preparing for a long week ahead – a few loaves of bread, 2 batches of muffins and gallons of chicken stock

- The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule

- sewing, sewing, sewing…making a few carry bags and racing madly to finish the backing on Little B’s advent calendar.

Friday, November 12, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  Inspired by soulemama

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Healing my body with exercise

Picture courtesy of http://www.pilatesforum.org

Exercise was always going to be part of the healing process after my mold exposure. Mainly because all the weight loss has caused massive muscle wastage and made me weak.

I am lucky though that I continued with my belly dancing for as long as I could. When I could no longer do the cardio, I still went along and did the warm up, cool down and focussed on technique. It has left me with a great core of abdominal muscles to work with as well as some upper body strength. Mind you, I think lifting a 16.5 kg 3.5 year old was the main contributor there :-)

My rehab guru, Dr Paul created an exercise program for me to halt the muscle wastage without burning calories. I do this religiously to keep my body awake and also to try and fix the holes that have been left behind. The majority of my muscle wastage has been in my legs, hips and buttocks.

I’ve also taken up Pilates again. It is great at stabilizing your core and strengthening your muscles. This builds on the muscles I still have from dancing, stops any further degeneration of other muscles and rebuilds the others. Interspersed with gentle water exercise, I hope that I will be fit enough to get back to dancing early next year.

And with consistent work, I should hopefully mend a lot of damage by Christmas time next year!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Healing my body with food

Picture courtesy of http://mediocredeli.com

The last few weeks have been full of whirlwind visits to neurologists, dieticians and rehab specialists. The consensus is the mold has primarily damaged my central nervous system – I have mycotoxin poisoning. The best visual description I was given is that my body is like a moth eaten dress. Great in some bits and missing chunks in others (For example, TMI I have muscles in one bum cheek but absolutely none in the other).

Food has been an eye opener also. I now need to avoid foods that are made of mold or prone to mold. This means no cheese, mushroom, dried fruit or strawberries to name a few. I also can no longer eat organic bread flour – it just has a greater propensity for mold spores, even if you cant see them.

Just removing these foods has seen a big improvement in my health. I’m also OD’ing on green vegetables. Green vegies bind to and remove the mycotoxins (caused by mold) from your body. The more you eat the better. I’ve always been a big vegie eater but I have increased this three fold. Broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, asian vegetables, beans…you name it, it finds it’s way into every meal. I’ve also become a big fan of Green Smoothies.

I’m eating more berries due to their abundant antioxidants. I’m lucky my local biodynamic grocer carries frozen organic blueberries and raspberries. I’m also glad we are heading into summer as fresh berries are even yummier addition to porridge or yoghurt for breakfast. Berry Radical is another addition to my diet. Full of 10 super foods it is bursting with antioxidants which are again great for getting rid of mycotoxins.

But the best news is very slowly, I am on the improve. It’s only the start of my journey back to health but it is motivating to get the even smallest of improvements :-)

Friday, November 5, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  Inspired by soulemama

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I love creating new traditions in our family as well as incorporating old traditions from both our childhoods into our new one. Our main one so far is that Little B gets a new Christmas book each year in the first week of December. Now with Christmas not far away, and my new sewing buzz, I’ve decided to sew Little B his own advent calendar.

He came with me to pick the fabrics and I have a very basic pattern (which involved hearts as pockets but I’ve changed to squares).

With 24 pockets, our aim is to have half as little rolled up notes which will have things to do together written on them. Like bake biscuits, reading Christmas stories, a twilight swim at the local pool or even just visiting a fun park. The other 12 will be little Christmas gifts like wooden bugs or yoyo’s (Mr B can do a bit of woodwork). Little surprises that are meaningful to us and him as well as the time spent treasuring this age.

My hope is that he will look forward to the advent calendar each year as a family tradition. That he will remember and look forward to the time spent one-on-one as a family at Christmas before age makes it “uncool” (yes I know he’s only nearly 4). And that he may one day look back with the fondness that I do at the Christmas traditions we made as a family.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Wardrobe Adjustment

Picture courtesy of www.collegefashion.net

There’s no other way of looking at it but when you lose all your wardrobe, it’s nothing short of a bummer. Not the least because you have nothing to wear…literally.

I’ve been in denial and making do with the few things I had to buy (like underwear) and borrowing Granny B’s clothes for around the house. Now this may sound fine, but in reality I’m about a size 4-6 Australian and Granny B has a more luscious lady figure, quite a few sizes bigger than me.

But you know it’s time, when a friend drops by during the middle of the day and asks you why you are in your pyjamas. Ummm because it’s the only tshirt I own and I only have two pairs of pants (one of which are my pj pants) and the other pair is drying on the line :-)

So what to do? I haunted a few favourite second hand clothing stores and op shops but have 2 problems: 1) that musty smell in op shops? It’s often mildew or mold, so no go there; and 2) there aren’t many small sizes around.

So I’ve written a list of the bare minimum I need to get by and am focussing on hand-made and/or ethical and/or organic to make my self feel better about buying new. The first thing I did was sew up a few easy summer tops. I also got some gorgeous house slippers from Chimney House Shoes at the Finders Keepers market.

I think this project will be a slow process. On cold days, I’m happy to use Granny B’s jumpers and hopefully as I get better and more confident at sewing I can make more clothes for myself.