Showing posts from August, 2014

A better cup, cafe @ home

I was going to write an article about the benefits of filtering out plunger coffee by using a tea strainer, because I had read that this filters out the fats of the coffee which prevent "bad cholesterol".  Then, I did some internet land searching only to discover that while a fine tea strainer will filter out the "baddies", their may in fact be some benefits to them.  Basically, the scientists can not make up their mind about the advice to give.

They do now know that drinking 5, 8oz cups of coffee a day, unless otherwise advised by your doctor/s, is probably something to not worry about.  Some say 6.  Obviously it will depend on a person's individual physiology.  Overall though, most people, if anything, will benefit from including coffee in their day, preferably before 2-3 pm in the afternoon.  And if you are jittery, can not sleep, and feel ill as a result of coffee consumption then reduce, or eliminate it.  Some people can not drink coffee and pregnant women …

Drowning my sorrows in a tea pot

To say that I have had better Saturday's would be a gross understatement.  To say I have had better days, would also be grossly understating my day.  Admittedly though, I've been through worse.  Much worse.  It didn't feel like that a little while ago.

I chose a very silly day to give up alcohol and ended up substituting the social drink, for the very English, very restrained cup of black tea and (soy) milk.  I drank the whole pot, in a fit of exhaustion and frustration.  Now of course, I'm calm-er but quite awake, and it's Sunday. 

I had one of those days that was out to get me.  I used every tool in the book and had a truly lousy day.  And, I was realistic, and sensible, and everyone around me lost the plot, and I'm afraid I went down with them. 

Tomorrow is another day though.  Well, today, technically.  Wish me well, and a little sleep!

Weird cheap therapy

I don't know about you, but occasionally I need to indulge in activities, that help keep me sane.  Okay, let's read that sentence together, and I think it's safe to say, that we all, all of us, need stuff to keep us sane.  Or we will be unhappy campers, and so will the people who surround us (if they don't run away first).

And, if you are like me, you have limited funds, yes?!  So you need WCTA, or Weird Cheap Therapy Activities, for in-between bawling at a therapist office, and finding strategies to keep yourself sane and reasonably together.  Think of this as augmenting professional therapies, which I have no problem with.  If you need it, and you get it, all the more power to you, I think.  People spend more on shoes, and end up less satisfied.  Ooooh, shoes!  Hard to imagine, but still...

Presenting Hobart Chic's list of Weird Cheap Therapy Activities (you might like to try, or be original and come up with your own list):

chewing gum.  Yes, I know, artificial suga…

Blissful detox

My foot!  Blissful and detox do not, in my experience, go together.  As someone who has undergone more than one, medically supervised detox, let me tell you that I would remain ever sceptical that anyone who describes themselves as feeling wonderful, while completing a detox, is truly detoxing anything at all. 

Ladies and gentlemen, there's a reason that most drug detox facilities are residential.  The reason is you will feel very ordinary indeed.

I am yet to undergo a significant detox, with a reasonable benefit afterwards, without there being a lousy period before.  Naturally, if you are concerned about any side effects from any treatment it's best to seek medical advice. 

I'm just saying, a detox, is not a pleasant experience. 

Anyway, hopefully it's all worthwhile.  I live in hope, and at the moment, a little affliction.


Indulgent and happy

Inexpensive indulgences that help make life better:

sparkling mineral water in a wine glass (did this today, such a small, but lovely treat)herbal tea in a favourite cuppopcorn and a funny moviebooks and magazines from the library, or local second hand shoprepaired, and reused furniturea walk, and a talk with someone (did this today at tortoise pace, the sunshine was lovely)

Learn something new

I was brought up with the maxim, that "you learn something new everyday".  The philosophy of lifelong learning, and a focus on DIY, sometimes to the detriment of the hip pocket, certainly are practical applications of this philosophy. 

Today, I am trying to learn if there is a link between alcohol intolerance and CFS flares.  Certainly, I never want alcohol when I have CFS type symptoms.  At their most severe, caffeine and food are pushing it, in terms of my body tolerating anything.  It's certainly not advised that people suffering from CFS flare ups have any alcohol, but there seems to be some that are saying that it may cause long term intolerance to alcohol. 

While reading through articles, I stumbled across this research that suggests that people with CFS are generally healthier than the rest of the population.  They positive lifestyle changes when confronted with the symptoms.  Interesting.  Link is here, if you are interested.…

Licorice allsorts day

Licorice allsorts kind of day.  It's been a mix of great, and not so great.  My day was pretty average and my evening was better.  And, there's a theme running through it all.  Graceful acceptance of where I am, acceptance of where those around me are, and learning to be a bit more present.  I suspect that's one of those skills that must be continually worked on.  Ah well, as I said, I'm a work in progress.

A feelings sponge

I wish I wasn't such a feelings sponge.  It has advantages, I can often figure out how someone is feeling and help them because I pick up on them easily.  At the same time though other people's feelings have the capacity and ability to wear me out.

I'm not denying I need to work on being more resilient, strong and robust.  Of course I do!  In the meantime, being a feelings sponge wears a little thin.

So, ways to change, and be a little more in balance:

continue to look after my physical health as best I can with the knowledge and skills I have availabledo some kind of physical relaxation every day so that I remain calm in spite of all around metrust God, that it's in His handslearn to put my feelings in their right placefind ways to relax when feeling overwhelmed e.g. sit in the sunshine, have a cup of tea, read a funny book I managed five minutes of pilates today, and that certainly helped.  Onwards, and upwards to being a more balanced sponge.  I think feelings have t…

Christmas in a cup, cafe @ home

Peppermint coffee at home.

Brew coffee in plunger, add peppermint tea bag (2 for maximum flavour), wait for it to draw out the flavours.  Filter into your coffee cup, add milk of your choice.  Drink and savour the aroma.

A little Christmas in a cup early!


Coconut yogurt recipe #450

Being the little kitchen scientist that I am, I keep on changing my coconut yogurt recipe.  The mixture I made today was heating up a can of generic coconut cream (400mls), filtered water (550mls), about 2 table spoons of sugar (all of them have this for the yogurt culture to feed on), 2 table spoons of gluten free flour, about 1 teaspoon of gelatine and 1 teaspoon of guar gum. 

Heat, whisk, and cool in fridge, add culture, throw in yogurt maker thermos and hope for the best!  Now, it's in the yogurt maker doing it's thing while I am chillaxing.

Hey, it keeps life interesting my little experiments! 

A gross oversimplification of my current plan

This is a gross oversimplification of what I am currently doing to hit my chronic fatigue:

IV of vitamin c and liposomal vitamin c to help my immune system function optimally and encourage any virus cells to go and find another home


chronic fatigue vitamins prescribed by specialist doctor

milk thistle to encourage my liver to work optimally and help those virus cells take a hike away from me

l-glutamine to heal my gut, aid absorption and help my body detox any gunk out

Oral rehydration fluids to help with dehydration.

And then some.  I would like to add in more things in future.

Exercise gently when I am able to.  Eat vegetables, fruit and other good things.

Disclaimer: this is the opinion of the author only.  For professional medical advice and treatment seek help from qualified medical personnel.

A little glimmer

Had such a painful few days.  It literally all came to a head, yesterday, with my head full of pain and suffering.  I'm afraid I didn't write.  It was all I could do to get through the day.  But, and it's an important but, I did feel a glimmer of hope.  I did manage to do some small pilates moves, I did manage to get a bit of housework done, no matter how bad I felt.

Today, I woke up feeling quite a bit better (apparently I still looked like a truck had hit me).  The chronic fatigue/ME theory goes that I am detoxing viruses/toxins out of my head.  Realistically, I should probably be diagnosed as CFS/ME to reflect the severity of it from time to time.  And, be given an Oscar for the "I'm fine" performances I have done, while they are at it.  This is what some immunologists think may be the cause.  It's the ability for a virus to hide and yet cause havoc from time to time that makes me want to hit this thing hard, and keep hitting it, until I feel better.  T…

No bottom vs amply entitled bottom

Feel out of bed at an alarmingly late hour, while swallowing a ridiculous number of supplemental medicine, a man in a red shirt came to the door.  Quietly, and quickly, tried to get myself in a vaguely presentable manner.  Once at the door, the gentleman explained that the charity he represented has had all funding cut towards their homelessness cause, and will be relying on the community, rather than direct and reliable tax funding to try and keep 1000 under 12 children off the street. 

I assume, this includes some parents, and some minors, but in a small community such as mine, it's a statistic that is awful.  I have no doubt that the rising cost of basic accommodation and food plays some way towards this situation for families.  A reliance on government welfare is not enough anymore.  Cuts to charities that are doing their very best and were already under tremendous pressure is callous in the extreme, without increases in the basic rate of welfare and investment in public housi…

7 minutes

I spent most of today doing a really good impression of a statue sleeping, and then in an elegant heap on a bean bag.  Then, I pottered about in the kitchen, made the world's easiest roast chicken (the only kind I will ever make), with oven made gravy and did some dishes.  None of which amounts to much exercise, unless we count the odd jaunt up and down a flight of stairs.

So, I got out my lady weights (1.2 kgs) and psyched myself up for 7 minutes, of low intensity muscle building.  It isn't much, but it's more that I would have even attempted yesterday.  I might not feel very fabulous today, but I feel better than yesterday.  And, I was able to stay at home and try and get my body to at least give me a small glimmer of hope. 

Tomorrow, I might go for 8 minutes!!!

The young people

I was reading today about a prestige brand car dealership who seem to think the only way to drive sales in the future to the, so called young people, will be to have sales people skilled up in social marketing and tablets everywhere.  That's just does not make sense to me. 

The way to sell to anyone is the same as it ever was.  We used to call it making people welcome, and actually stopping, and having a chat.  Figuring out what the customer needs and providing a product that meets those needs. 

The dealership of the future, will need the same as it does now, skilled communicators who can make people comfortable, and have a good sense of humour.  Who know their facts, and are happy to find out what they do not know.

Dealerships of the future will need to be clean and tidy, have staff dressed to high standard, show a bit of love and care to customers.  Customer loyalty is bought by kindness, good business acumen and street smarts, not technology. 

It's better to invest in a good…

Things to spend your money on

Even I, paragon of virtue that I am (not, but I do have my moments), spend money on some things.  There are some things that I have learnt are worth prioritising and spending money on, making the distinction between quality, and quantity.

Hobartchic's good to spend money on (generally, I have no doubt there will be a living exception somewhere happy to argue with me) list:
Shoes.  "Always buy quality shoes" I hear ringing out whenever I dare chance a visit to a shoe shop.  Both parents worked in shoe retailing, and I hear them whenever I look at shoes.  There's slight exceptions to this, $400 shoes are not really what we are talking about here.  But, maybe, spending that extra $20 and getting runners that last for longer, generally worth it.  I should hire out my parents for shopping lectures, they would save you a fortune.  Still, generally the rule is buy quality and walk into the store and quiz the poor unfortunates who have to deal with the child of shoe retailing…

Busy going nowhere

Now, I know, if you have been reading my blog for any length of time you know that at the moment, I find myself out of the paid workforce.  And, at times, if you are in the rat race yourself at the moment, the green eyed monster of jealousy may pay a visit while you read.  And then, hopefully, it passes as you realise that for me there was no choice. 

I fought to stay, fight to stay sane, and had to opt out, in order to give myself a chance to recover.  It was never a choice in the real sense of the word.  To be honest, I'm still looking for someone to pay me to nap on demand, but no offers are coming my way! Ha! 

I completely understand the green eyed monster, the cynicism that it's all in my head, and the look of she-must-be-insane that passes for a flicker in people's eyes because more often than not, I look well, when I am out and about.  At home, not so much.  And, I can normally act, and make up for illness, when there's a scheduled appearance and my body is bein…

I'm a work in progress

About to go to bed.  Having spent most of my day overwhelmed with fatigue, I'm naturally feeling at my best, and most alert, before I try to tell my body it needs to sleep.  Of course.

I rested for most of today, went for a stroll with IT Guru who he suggested, not unkindly, that I was tired. Ah, the blissful ignorance.  I completely understand.  But, it's not tired.  Tired means you had energy to start off with.  Tired is a pain, but a privilege, it means that you have some control over it.  If you are tired, then there are things that you can do now, to prevent yourself from having a mental and physical breakdown.  You can control tired.  Tired can be the most rewarding feeling (finished a long essay, got a sick child to settle down and sleep, went for a long hike somewhere scenic). 

It's insulting though to wake-up having slept well and feel utterly exhausted, unable to get out of bed for hours, almost bedridden for days, and have that ignorantly, all be it innocently, l…

Luxury for less

The Head Gardener spied a glass bottle in my room, and assumed, much to my amusement, and slight bafflement, that it contained wine.  Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, it contained, wait for it....water.  I know, exciting, right?

It used to contain fake wine a.k.a organic sparkling apple juice, but alas that was drunk.  So now, I use my bottle as a very funky reminder to drink lovely filtered water.  And it feels
more luxurious sometimes to drink from a glass bottle.  Vino H2O!

I also have a bedside table that cost me nothing because the in house IT guru wasn't using it, and I asked if I could.  How is having a beside table, not a luxury?   Of course it is! 

I have beautiful pictures that were given to me, books from the library in a cosy pile ready to be read and pink stationary accessories for a pop of colour, and cheer.  Simple, everyday luxury for less.

Had the attention of someone special last night, spent time with family, grateful for these luxuries.

Searching for happiness under the couch

Happiness is elusive.  The one irony of life, is that the minute a person focuses on their happiness they do not achieve it.  Like I said to my GP, while experiencing depression due to thyroid medication changes (absolutely no fun), I am not going to worry about happiness.  About health, yes, so I have energy to be able to serve my community, and from that, happiness is born.

The people you meet that are happy are those that live balanced lives, not of martyrs, not doormats, of service and focus on other people.  They are content, they are full of joy, they do not have an easy life, they are tough, they are strong, they are aware that they have only the illusion of control. 

Some of the happiest people I have ever spoken to lived in tiny public housing units, were homeless, were financially living on the spare oily rag in the closet.  Real wealth and happiness is built on contentment, gratitude and on realising when we have enough.  On spending our focus in the service of others, while…

My little news diet

My news fast/ diet is causing me happiness, and a new understanding of just how addicted I was getting to consuming the world's drama.  Not good for the ol' mental, or physical health.  Feeling much more centred as a result and maintaining limits on my consumption.

It is truely a spectacular summery day in Hobart, and I feel incredibly blessed to live here.  Spending my day looking after myself and eating well.  Still migraine-y and focused on managing my response to my environment.  I want to learn to prevent, as best I can, episodes like today.  At the moment, I'm focussed on getting better and helping my body heal.

One of the lessons of recovery from a physical illness needs to be to learn strategies to ensure good mental health so that recovery is supported.  Like it or not, our physical health is impacted by our thoughts, beliefs and behaviour.  Sometimes this needs to change, that's part of the human journey.  The book "Beating Chronic Fatigue" that I wro…

Little tweaks - a little book review

With any complicated medical condition such as chronic fatigue there needs to be a individualised, complicated response.  This is the approach that is contained in the book I read from my library called 'Beating Chronic Fatigue' by Dr Kristina Downing-Orr. 

Reading it helped me gain more insight to the healing process and makes some tweaks to the approach that me, and my medical team are taking.  I am hopeful that I will make an improvement as a result.  I highly recommend this to anyone who is fighting CFS, to doctors and family of people fighting CFS.

This book is written by a doctor who was paralysed by CFS and recovered.  I really could not recommend it highly enough.  Five stars!


I tried to write last night, but I had things that I needed to deal with.  I was feeling stressed and anxious, in fact, to a lesser degree I still am.  It was due to something that happened a few days ago.  I needed some time to make sense of it all.  And, I did.  But, let me tell you I did not sleep well, and my poor head is still ache-y. 

I'm hoping I won't get a migraine, and that this is just my body healing.  I tend to get migraines as a result of undue, abnormal stress. Now, do I need to manage my stress?  Yes, and I do the best I can.  I went for a walk today as I had bit of energy and I needed to walk some of the stress to the ground, and to feel grounded.  Hopefully, this and cutting myself some slack will work.  In either case, I know that these techniques tend to reduce the length and severity of migraines, when I get them.

Looking after my physical and mental health has to be part of any possible health recovery.

With that written, I guess I should write down some st…

News fast

I don't know about you, but I get overwhelmed with the media.  Now, given that my background is in media analysis, given that I love reading, given that I am endlessly curious that sounds like a contradiction. 

There's nothing wrong with wanting to keep reasonably up to date with what is going on around the world.  There comes a point though when it can drive you crazy if you continue to over consume the media.  We live in a world where there is too much information.  It's too easy to get overwhelmed.  And then, I am no use to anybody, because I'm worried about all the bad things that are happening and not focused on all the good things that I can do to make the world a better place, and on healing and getting better. 

So, I've put myself on a sort of news fast.  I've not really figured out the rules for it yet.  Essentially it involves limiting my news reading online for the day to two minutes or less, unless reading the occasional newspaper.  And, largely s…

INDI Therapy - I'm NOT doing it!

I would like to introduce you to INDI Therapy a.k.a I'm Not Doing It Therapy.

This therapy involves:

Step 1) Figuring out that there is only one of you, and a world of other capable people out there
Step 2) Figuring out what your role is in the world
Step 3) Considering your resources
Step 4) Creating some goals that are S.M.A.R.T
Step 5) Figuring out what you will do, and what you will not
Step 6) Taking responsibility for what you need to do - we all have stuff we do not want to do, that has to be done.  This is not about ignoring responsibilities.
Step 7) Asking for help when you need it
Step 8) Look for new, and creative approaches, be flexible in how things get done.  Focus on goals, and limit them.

Strip life back, and figure out what you need to do.  Simplify, focus and take responsibility.

Basically, there's only one of me.  There are things that I can, and need to do.  There are some things though that are fluff.  It's the "fluff" of life that INDI is talking about…

Only a book addict

Only a potential Book Addicts Anonymous member (meetings to be held at your local library) would:
Find themselves bickering, in a friendly, if intense manner, about whether or not the book they just read, is as good as they said.  Having recommended said book, to another proponent of book addiction, they find themselves annoyed that the other person does not appear to be snorting in public/ bursting into tears/ or otherwise emotionally reacting to the same degree in the "right spot".  Or espousing the book with the same enthusiasm.  Book-bickers (bickering about books) of this kind often end in, "well, I thought it was a good book!".  Then, tea, served with a brief sulk from at least one of the book-addled party.

Try to walk out of the library, in a relaxed fashion, while holding 15 books.  At least, 5 of these are 300 plus pages.  Only to return 3 days later, because they have run out of things to read.

Cook while reading a book.  I did this while reading Pauline Han…

A little stroll

Things to be grateful for today:

able to go for a short, slow stroll yesterday.   Tasmanian views, absolutely gorgeous.  Mount Wellington was kissed lightly with slow, and autumnal trees on view everywhere.patient websites.  Nice to know I am not on my own with this journey.  Found the ME/CFS WA site the other day, it all helps!Beautiful mugs Food, good wholesome food (the odd treat, or I go mad)!  Have orange peel everywhere, been snacking on oranges like a starved monkey.  Hopefully I have the energy of a monkey tomorrow.Good books!  Reading my way through "Year of No Sugar", which I thought I would hate, but have found myself avidly reading.  Perhaps, the title should be, year of less sugar.  A fun and interesting read.Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Some of the ways chronic fatigue shows itself in my daily life:
Getting out of bed before noon is something to be celebrated

My idea of a goal focussed day, these days, is getting out of bed, at all, and then making the bed.

Making dinner can be the sole focus of a day.

Extra achievement points for washing the dishes.

Given the choice between comfort and fashion, I choose comfort(able fashion).

I have any make up routine down to a fine art.  I wonder about women who have a three step process just for washing their face, toning and moisturising.  Then I remember, that I was once that woman.  Now, it's a much more haphazard, relaxed approach to pore management.  Some days, it shows.  It's more like a three day plus regime:  Day one, cleanse; day two, tone; day three, rest; day four, moisturise.   

Your idea of a beauty regime is getting a good nights sleep.  Bonus points if you look like you had a good night's sleep the next day.

Today, I got out of bed late, managed a short walk …

A helpful slap in the face

I was reading another blog by a woman who had a child with a severe disability, and looked after her daughter for years.  The impact of having a child with a severe disability, was overwhelming.  The woman, quite rightly, spoke about disability advocates, who talk about hope incessantly, and miss reality.  That's not what I intend/ed for this blog to be. 

I understand that carers do not get the recognition or support that they need.  I recognise that just because someone is exhausted, does not mean they do not love their child.  I recognise that the reality of some conditions means that sedation and medical drug options sometimes need to be a regular feature of the journey to manage a condition.

For me, hope is about life being more than what I am currently going through.  I do hope for a cure, to a degree.  How can I not?  But, my disability, is comparatively hopeful.  At present, I am working on accepting that I may not get the remission and cure I want, and to focus on some kin…

Cafe culture @ home

Discovered a new, easy coffee drink to enjoy at home when a normal flat white soy coffee just isn't hitting the mark.  Cinnamon coffee.  Make your black coffee as you normally would, I just use a plunger.  Add about a 1/4 teaspoon of good quality, fresh ground Dutch cinnamon, stir, add milk to taste.  Yum!!! Seriously, slightly addictive if anything.  Enjoy!

Little imps, big bats

The imps have been having their way with me, giving me a bash or a million.  Ouch!  Well, you must an imaginary imp army, with baseball bats, sounds far more exciting than I have been in pain, and a little miserable as a result.  The imps have kept themselves less occupied today. 

Today, I noticed that even though the belief in a cleaning fairy is high in the house, the evidence suggested that it might just be a convenient theory.  Who doesn't believe in the cleaning fairy when they would rather be slouch in front of a screen pretending to be busy, or nap, drink three cups of coffee and pose in an erudite fashion (cool word, blame my reading addiction)?  It's a real shame. 

Sometimes a woman just has to bust out the vacuum cleaner though.  Tell you what, I do it in a very environmentally friendly manner.  I could never be accused of wasting the world's resources on vacuuming!!!

Today, I am grateful for strong camomile tea, roast dinner, small wander along the beach and cl…

Divide and conquer

Divide and conquer, has always been a hallmark of despots, and cult leaders.  "Them", and "us".  The "haves" and the "have nots".  There is it far too much of this mentality in western society.  Thankfully people with intelligence are beginning to once again speak out, and refute the stupid generalisations of too many. 

Another strategy is to use peer pressure to keep people silent.  It works with most people most of the time.  Thankfully, not all the people all of the time.  If you look at the research, I've read, 70-80% of the population can be easily brain-washed within minutes, given the right environment and skill of the person/s conducting the brainwashing.  These are not stupid people either.  Still, the best defence, and the hope to get people out of these situations is critical thinking skills, having somewhere soft to land, and most powerfully love.  Love, hope, truth and joy, win in the end.   

Particularly if you keep them poor, m…