Showing posts from October, 2015

Weekend Reading: Prison

Some interesting articles about, programs and approaches to helping those in prison, or moving out of it.

Queensland correctional workers trying to provide training and work programs to encourage people to be productive when they are finished their prison sentence, and reduce the likelihood they come back.  Given the cost of keeping a prisoner is AUD 100k plus per year it makes sense to spend money on effective programs and follow up in the community once the sentence ends.

WA Charity providing jobs and opportunity to former prisoners who are willing and able to change.

Inside-Out program:

Hope for Ebola cure

Just wrote about people with post-viral issues due to survival of Ebola.  This article gives sufferers and their doctors hope:

The protocol is similar to the regime I am using to try and deal with my SEID due to EBV.
Disclaimer: for professional medical advice seek treatment from a qualified medical professional.

Post Viral Ebola

We've all heard from mainstream news agencies about the Ebola epidemics.  Spare a thought for the survivors of this virus which has such a devastating effect.  Many have lost everything, including, perhaps more tragically, their family.  Job loss, family and health loss.  It's quite a combination.  They have their lives and let's hope that doctors can come up with a management plan that works.

It seems that the medical community still refuse to believe that once the initial virus plays havoc with the body, that it can still sit there for years, and come out and play (any virus).  Let's hope they find a way to kill the Ebola.  It's a tiny hope.  According to ABC Morning's news report today, there are an estimated 4000 people struggling with post viral pain, fatigue and physical ailments due to Ebola.


I was so fatigued today I could only be calm when a large German Shepherd decided to come and say hello.  I'm learning to stop and stay calm which seems to work with well behaved dogs.  I read somewhere years ago, that it was a good idea with normal residential dogs, and it has worked lately.  I think it's more that I do not have the energy to run away!

For more tips on how to deal with dogs, this article, and the website generally might be worth reading by Cesar Milan:
(For professional animal welfare advice talk to your vet)

Like a rollercoaster

My energy levels are a bit like a rollercoaster.  Or, perhaps another useful analogy is up and down like a yoyo? 

Anyway, my energy level are not stable, and due to spending half the night up with localised fevers, let's hope healing, I ended up spending a significant part of the day in bed.  I told you I was unwinding yesterday. 

After extreme rest, also known as sleep, I managed to go for a long stroll in one of the walkways the local council has constructed around my local area.  I love being able to go for a walk.  I was going to just completely rest today, but I felt up to a stroll, and once I got going I did well.

Very thankfully that the predicted showers eventuated so I did not have to water the garden.  I love a little rain when I'm inside, and a splatter when I'm striding along in warm clothes.

Managed to catch up on a bit of housework after my rest, not so fatigued because I rested last night.  Man, I was bored watching TV but I did not feel up to reading, and…

Need house elves (edit 30th Oct 2015)

If you were to come into the kitchen that I have just been using, for cooking, and then coffee making purposes you could be forgiven for thinking it had not been recently vacuumed.  You would be wrong, I did it yesterday and now it doesn't look like it's been done for a week.  Slightly annoying.

In said kitchen, I made Scottish style savoury oat cakes for the first time.  Unusually for me I followed the recipe, except I used dripping instead of butter except for greasing the oven tray.  It pays to leave them in for the full fifteen minutes, or they will be awful if not thoroughly cooked.  Yum!

Then, I made home-baked beans.  Soaked and cooked beans, then rinsed, drained and added to a saucepan with fatty bits from last nights roast, a small rasher of bacon, herbs (rosemary, parsley and oregano), greens (mainly spinach and arugula), garlic and onion diced up and to finish homemade tomato sauce.  Seasoned to taste.  Will eat later with a baked potato and salad if I can be bother…

Something worth saving for

Growing up my parents had enough but I was always aware that they struggled.  The irony of course is that most people only saw the reward for their blood, sweat and tears.  Then they chose to be jealous rather than work hard.  My mum and dad both own their best homes now but it's only due to a combination of really hard work, and they have been blessed with a combination of inheritances and stable employment.

Hard work did provide us as a family, with a new home, that was unfinished for quite some time. People are often jealous but I've never forgotten where I came from, nor that my parents do not want me to be a materialistic person.  They always practiced what they preached, which includes giving to people with less than I've ever had.  Much less.

If you are looking for something worth saving for, once all your basics are covered, then Tearfund is one charity worth considering.  They have low administration costs and they work with communities to provide lasting change.

Change your decor for less

Frugal ideas to change your surrounds:

1) Clean, clean, clean (speaks for itself really)

2) Throw out old things, that are tired, or not loved or useful.  Think about donating things you neither use, love, or treasure that someone else can use.

3) Change your linen.  Can sometimes find new linen in charity shops, never use, just in need of someone who loves that style.

4) New pillow cases that compliment your current linen.  One of my favourite pillow cases remains a charity shop pre-loved 50 cent bargain.

5) Find creative ways to use what you have

6) Rearrange your furniture

7) Pick some flowers and place in vase, jam jar or even a cup.

8) Make a throw for your bed or sofa.

There, inspired?  I hope so.

Spring sunshine

Updated my new sneakers for nothing by switching the laces with my old pair of sneakers.  They looked far too new with white laces and now look a bit more my style with black laces.

Made my self go for a decent walk in the sunshine today, did a cursory vacuum of half the house for fear the crumbs in the kitchen were having just a bit too much success with their breeding program, put washing out as all that walking and mooching in the sunshine makes me sweat and ironically increases my walking to the clothes line.

Mooched in front of the television and watched Madame Secretary and The Good Wife.  Missing Elementary for my television related mooching and hoping they write another series.

Noticed in-between flicking through channels in the commercial breaks that people are moaning that the interest rates have gone up.  Yep, greedy banks increasing HISTORICALLY LOW interest rates.  Given that I estimate that the banks are already looking at an educated guess of 10 billion potential loss …

A bit of BareFoot

The comments at the end of this article, and indeed this article, are worth thinking about if you are considering buying your first home at the moment.  I would caution, extreme caution and patience.

I do love the Bare Foot Investor's writing style.  Good sense, intelligent analysis, what's not to love?

Disclaimer: for financial advice seek professional services.

Dear Financial Wizard

Dear Financial Wizard,

I've got 500 000 dollars saved up in superannuation due to secure employment straight out of school at the age of 17.  I'm still working at the age of 63 and am planning to work for another 7 years.  I own three properties, all with families living in them paying through their noses and struggling to stay in work for longer than a year.  Thankfully, when they aren't working they receive child family payments which ensure they pay for my mortgages.

I've just inherited 800 000 and was wondering if you could advise me where to spend my cash?


Dear Bob,

Firstly, you might consider contributing to my superannuation balance, or helping me buy my own home.  I am happy to provide you with my details.  Alternatively, you could sell your houses at a loss and provide homes that are affordable to those families currently living there so they can raise a family and not have a nervous break down.

There are also these things, completely, tax deductible, call…

Little people, big lessons

My mum occasionally has what I like to call a dose of the parent guilt about all kinds of things.  The fact is, that my parents gave me a pretty brilliant childhood which was far from perfect, but now as an adult, having spent time around children,,,well, let's just say my inner judgmental teen/know it all twenty year old, don't know what they're talking about.

All I know is that if I spend enough time around little children, full of normal bouncy energy, two things happen.  One, my requirement for caffeine goes up, and my ability to make it goes down, in equal measure.  Two, I start to talk in cliches and start channeling both of my parents.  This is a little funny when I realize that I just said the same thing one of my parents used to that annoyed me, to a child.  

I have another nickname for my mother, I call her, The Matron.  Okay, yes, some of it comes from the nursing background.  It mainly comes from when my mum's in a mood that I might otherwise describe as …

House prices drop with mining activity

Who would have thunk it?

Oh yes, that'd be me:

Flailing about

I forgot yesterday while I was in need of a gentle boost that I had some Rescue Remedy (Bach Flower) in my drawer for such an occasion.  Thankfully, it's a new day, and I feel a little bit better so of course I remembered in time to help someone else.  I've taken a dose anyway, because I can do with a little help myself.

Sometime I think I need a dog with an emergency bottle of Rescue Remedy stashed around it's neck so I remember that I've got it.  Or, a dog trained to know when to bark in my drawer's direction.

I've taken Rescue Remedy before and find it incredibly helpful.  I also know other people that swear by it for themselves and their animals.  It certainly helped shift the mood of The Head Gardener, and at least for the moment lift the distress related migraine.

Talk to your doctor (or other qualified medical person) about your personal medical advice.  It should be noted that the fluid rescue remedy is a tincture made with an alcohol base but sugar fre…

Eat well & feel better?

Admitted to myself that I am feeling a little self destructive.  When I feel upset I have a bad habit of making things worse by not eating well, and not exercising as much as I can.  Obviously, sometimes I genuinely can not exercise much due to health conditions.
At present, I seem to be able to go for walks and have continued to while feeling like not looking after myself.  That step is progress.  If I can keep exercise in my lifestyle, it tends to be a linchpin in sanity.  
I have been eating too much sugar and just admitted to myself that it does not even make me feel better.  I actually feel much worse for it (one sugar in my tea would be fine - this has been more than that).  I think it just makes me feel like I am in control by hurting myself physically.  I think I think that if I hurt myself physically, I can cope mentally.  It's a way of expressing my pain, I guess.
You would think the writing would be enough.  Perhaps it's the writing that is helping me stop and overw…

Disconcerted & discombulated

I am currently trying to process some painful emotions.  Some might call the process depressed and yet, it isn't quite.  I'm certainly a little upset and sad but I have been using my coping strategies.

herbal teas,
fresh bedding,
washed my clothes,
changing my focus,
taking action and doing the things I can,
processing feelings rather than staying bitter,
taking time to reflect,
my belief in a higher power having control - not me


admitting that I feel uncomfortable, unhappy, hurt, angry (without wanting to seek revenge), and a willingness to find peace with another. 

Peace is impossible to find with someone who believes themselves to be perfect, who is apparently never wrong.  I can't do anything except be here if they decide to change.  It might never happen.

I also ate too much and chewed off all my fingernails.  I can't say they are my best coping strategies!

So, I'm currently disconcerted (V. disturb the composure of, unset…

The pointy end of the month

I could have saved these researchers a lot of effort.  Yes, the end of the woman cycle, in my case combined with stress, increases the risk of binge eating and general moodiness!  
And, it makes me look instantly 5 months pregnant, even without the binge eating episodes, when I am having one of those irritatingly zen months.  Now, I just feel irritated :D.  Which has more to do with a difficult, grief ridden family relationship, hormones just are not helping.
Okay, so it's a little more complicated than that:

A jelly bean or two?

Perhaps sugar isn't quite the devil that some people who are looking at nutrition would like you to think it is.  This article is worth considering (those with diabetes need to follow advice from a nutritionist) for people who do plenty of exercise:

I do like a little controversy with my tea.

Boredom Tea

For those moments when normal black tea is lacking a certain something, you could try:
dried or fresh citrus - not my cup of tea, but The Head Gardener loves itdried berries - I buy a tea bag version but if you have a stash, chuck some in the tea pot, yum, lovely.fragrant rose petals, dry or fresh - make sure they are clean and add a few for an aromatic, tasty experience.a little rooibos - I'm having a pot of loose leaf tea with one quality rooibos tea bag added for extra flavour.Vanilla sugar - for those moments when you are stressed and need a little sweet! There, it's just a matter of finding a food stuff to add to your tea that makes your heart sing, and taste buds dance!

No education without debate

I read today that a group of University students is trying to refuse entry to Germaine Greer because she dares to have a different view point.  How can anyone attain an education in the traditional, holistic sense if they refuse to at least listen to the other sides view point?  Why bother going to University if all you want out of it is to come out with the knowledge you had when you walked in the door?

Ha, pictures!

Fixed technical difficulties, here's a couple of photos.
I am grateful for daisies to place in a vase.  Actually, I put mine in a Japanese style green tea teapot.  They really do cheer my room up!
A cup of tea and fresh flowers, cost negligible, happiness immeasurable!  Clearly you would need to take the daisies out of the tea pot before brewing the tea :D!  Always a good idea.

And the vista from this afternoons walk.  My baby phone and camera do an a fine job but believe it or not there's the river glistening in the background.  More pretty flowers in the meadow.  

As a delightful extra, my mum's keys were found by a passing pair of day hikers.  Always good!  

Due for a w(h)ine

I've been doing pretty well lately on the action over whining discipline.  One of the reasons for that is that I keep practising the art of gratitude, creativity and walking.

Walking helps keep me sane.  Went for a wonderful walk today with my Mum.  A cliff top walk, that's safe and well maintained.  Amazing views of Hobart and the water.  Stunning vistas.
I want to place a picture here but I am experiencing technical difficulties.  Still, beautiful, sunny and vistas rewarding all our slogging up hills and far away.

Weekend business reading

Zip into your nearest cafe, or your kitchen, whiz out a mocha, or other beverage, put on your reading glasses, find your inner suit and check these finance and business related posts.

The banks might want to consider what role they have played in the current financial climate:

What role do you play in your financial status?

Business trends by Forbes:

May your weekend be full of laughter, sunshine and most of all contentment, family and friends.


A little energetic walking, a little sitting, good food and laughter may just be the key to health for most people:

Lovely weather here in Hobart, going to go for a walk myself in a moment!

Diabetes resources (type 1 & 2)

Some resources that medical staff and patients managing diabetes may find useful.  Information appears to be up to date.  Please consult your doctor regarding treatment and management of this condition.

Diabetes Treatment Center, University of California:

Strong & healthy

Today, I had a pretty good day given the ol' thyroid and the chronic fatigue viral induced nastiness.  Today, it was mildly nasty.  Last night after I stretched my body by hiking up a hill, it was detox nasty, but mild compared to the days in bed thing I have done too many times.

Today, my imperfect but strong body was kicked up and down hills.  I can walk, and today, in my weakness, I had moments of strength that are wonderful and such a deep, deep joy.  Sure, the virus is playing but my body is out and about and doing things and doing its very best to fight back hard.  My head felt pretty clear.

My body is hopefully going to get stronger over time.  I will probably never be as fit and strong as others, but I know how hard I have fought and how far I have come.  I have been bed ridden and any day in the sunshine even in chronic, if not severe, pain is a good day.  Any day I can wash the dishes and clean the bathroom with relative ease is a good day.

This woman found out the impor…

Buying up basics & slow down

I went to a local shopping precinct with the plan of doing some errands.  My errands were impossible due to the public holiday I had completely forgotten about.  I decided to check out one of the supermarkets because I needed soap and the prices have been on a downward trajectory.  I managed to cover a lot of ground today despite my thyroid being a little iffy.  The combination of low hormone replacement dose and iodine worked today, tomorrow I will get to, when I get to it!

Today, I went to a local retailer with the plan of buying some plain generic soap and came away with some specials.  I bought deodorant (I've been using a home made version but sometime the commercial product is a better bet) at half price, some black berry flavored tea I thoroughly enjoy, some rolled oats at normally low price, some apples to share at half the normal supermarket price.  A few other items at normal prices.

Then I visited family and learnt a new board game.  I do enjoy playing board games and c…

She'll be...

"She'll be right" (contraction of, she will be right) is an Australian saying that covers all manner of ills, generally small.  It's a saying designed to keep the "spilt milk" of life in perspective.

Sometimes it's overused and the culture can go a bit too far in the do not worry about things approach to life.  This article comes as no surprise, but if the identities of some of the comment writers are correct, then it makes for interesting and potentially scary writing.  It may well be that I am correct and the bank defaults have happened.

I checked my bank balance last night, and my savings are growing.  As I am on a small welfare payment under the current lending rules I do not appear to qualify for a home loan.  If I wait though I might just be able to buy one with cash, which would be a relief, and likely a cheerful dump in need of work!

Anyway, makes for interesting reading:…

House prices go?

Ah yes, that's right, house prices always go up, and then down for a while.  Certainly not always to investor/developer's plans.

Another walk and soap making fantasies

I managed another walk today and noticed what appears to be an increase in vacant houses.  Of course, you didn't hear that from me.  If it isn't in the mainstream media it simply can not be true, right?

Most importantly it was lovely to be able to go for a walk, also known as a mild personal torture session.  I've been worse, but I can't say I found it easy today.  Lovely to be out in the sun, just not exactly what I would call fun.  Good to keep my body moving and brain cells firing while I walk along.

I made some normal dairy yogurt and some more coconut yogurt as I find I have to watch my dairy consumption.  I would eat it all the time if I could, but my body would not thank me.  Still, it's so nice to eat a little cheese and have milk in my tea.

Been trying to find affordable melt and pour bases for soap making but freight seems to wipe out that idea.  One of these days, I will become the perfect woman that makes her own soap.  In the meantime, I will be a f…

Creative evening

Spent the evening making small gifts for Christmas and/or throughout the year.  Thoroughly underestimated how much time it would take me to make!

I made some glue out of sugar, flour, water and a splash of vinegar as a mild preserving agent.  Boiled up and once cool worked as a great paper glue.  Dreadfully sticky, but with practice I got better at using it.  I estimate it cost a few minutes of my time and 50 cents in materials.  $6 at my local newsagent for the commercial version!

Then, I cut up paper and selected some quotes and using bought tea bags and pretty paper, made up some very cute customized tea bags.  It took ages.  Now I know why some people are retailing them as wedding favors at four dollars per bag in envelope!

Anyway, very cute small presents.  Now, I just need a thing or two to go with it!  They look really good, SO MUCH WORK!  No wonder I kept out of too much mischief as a child, I was always doing creative things with paper and glue.  Always had just enough...and …

Dear Mum

I'm considering a video diary on youtube, preferably with a false topic, to stay in touch with my mother who seems to have finally discovered youtube.  Ironically, I watch a video on youtube once in a blue moon because it uses up too much internet and I think a little media restriction, can be a good thing.

I thought my video, could go something like...

Dear Mum,

Today, I've had to put myself back on a small dose of thyroid medication.  A small part of me is jumping up and down insisting that I am a failure as a result.  Thankfully the rest of me, the more sane me, the 99% healthy minded me, thinks this is fine.

We went out to museum exhibit today about the First World War, and even though, I read about it, the sheer loss of suffering, the loss of life, the sacrifice, never ceases to shock and awe me.  Having lost 60 000 Australian defence personnel, we then as a country lost as many due to the spanish flu epidemic.  It was this part of the exhibit that had me almost in tears.…

A Sunday Explore

Today, I went out and benefited from some of the most amazing views of the river that makes living in Hobart a joy.  I was getting cabin fever, and even though the house that keeps me warm and dry has fantastic views, I decided to walk up a neighboring hill.

Once I trudged to the top, well, it was well worth the walk.  I noticed that there are quite a few houses for sale at the moment.  Even though Spring is traditionally the time of year for real estate sales to increase, and turnover, there seemed to be more than last year.

While continuing my walk I had a first look at a new subdivision and park.  I personally did not like either and am horrified that my local council has placed a park for children with gum trees.  Nor did I like the location of the houses, they were a little on the boring, tiny, and surrounded by concrete for my liking.  There was a lack of good planning involved in the way the suburb has been designed and no view of the river.

There seems to have been a scrimp…

An incentive to save - credit cards

Higher fees for people that pay off their credit cards.  Save to buffer yourself from emergencies, and then when you can, if you can, cut up the credit card.  Ain't no one rewarding you for using credit.

In an M.D's shoes

I could, I probably have, with good reason write an informed piece about the medical incompetence, that I have been subjected to.  While I maintain that the profession could do with a tip here and there, and some M.D. s could be encouraged to look at other career paths, let's not forget what a difficult job it is.  Let's not forget that diseases can be tricky little b*stards to diagnose.

It's important to educate doctors, to educate ourselves as patients, to expect the best care possible.  It is critical as well, that sometimes we see things from the M.D's point of view.  If it was an easy job, we'd all be doing it:

Singer/ actress, Victoria Justice living with Hashimoto's

I would like to hear more about how Victoria Justice managed to get her Hashimoto's under control.  To be diagnosed at such a young age probably improves the likelihood of lifestyle changes such as giving up gluten having the most impact.  Sounds like it may have gone into remission, which is also not unheard of, regardless of lifestyle.

Anyway, always a brave move talking about being ill in our culture.  I wish her well, and many years of wellness!

More Weekend Reading: A bit more saving

Ah, I know how to have an exciting Saturday.  I decorated my mum's jams and took some photos for her next writing project.

Then, I cleaned the stairs and the laundry which The Head Gardener had imported half the garden into.  Podded some broad beans, and used some to make a rice and vegetable lunch.  Dried and put away clean dishes and did another load and put that away.  Put out and took in a load of washing. Frugal and tasty.

Now, I'm herbal tea-ing and writing.  I did my morning cup of coffee in the percolator, and must admit to throwing half the cup out because I'm having one of my caffeine aversion days.  Just enough to hit the caffeine addiction and no more!

Caught up on the news, and found some more saving inspiration articles for you!

If you want to save money and pay down debt, you might want to do something like this:

Things to consider cutting out of your budget:…

Quiet interest rate rise

Westpac can be commended for its honesty and integrity in announcing interest rates.  While mainstream media outlets freaked out about a 0.20 percent interest rate increase announcement, other lenders quietly increased theirs (as is their legal right).

Weekend Reading Picks: Saving just become topical

I'm selecting saving, as an article topic selection because The Head Gardener (my mum) said to me today that saving is not encouraged in society these days.  THG is quite right.  Being an adult and saving up for anything, or saying that you can not afford something, has of late been the ultimate taboo.  I think it will change, and soon.  An economic system based on credit doomed to failure.

If my predictions are correct and older housing stock dives in value, personal bankruptcies rise due to high debt combined with mass job losses, then saving, will once again become topical.  If credit ceases to be easily acquired, and a deposit is required for property, along with lenders refusing home loans to non-residents, you have the perfect environment to save.

Add to that increases in interest rates, increased deposits, and bank staff will be giving away incentives for people to open saving accounts.  They will begin to compete for savings, assuming you are trying to save up for a nest …

A day in bed

I wish I could tell you that I've spent the day in bed, at least awake watching movies.  Nope.  I spent most of today asleep fully clothed.  My brain thinks that if I am freshly showered it will stop me from crashing.  It's an old trick from school years, my mum would tell me to shower and dress and then tell me if I was sick or not.  I think she usually got me to bed and into more comfortable clothes if I was sick, I just tend to tell myself that I will sleep for a minute...eight hours later.

I got up, my throat is still incredibly sore, my legs are also painful and it feels like my body is just a ball of pain.  I had a quick chat, began a cup of tea, went to bed with my laptop and gave up and went to sleep with the blinds and window open.  Unbelievable fatigue. 

These episodes are to be expected but I never find them easy.  No ability to fight that pain, fatigue and exhaustion.  Exhausted, hope this finds you better.

I still managed to benefit from a reasonably organised ro…

Cashless welfare card

The Australian Senate has just announced that they are going to trial a cashless welfare card to stop people drinking alcohol and doing drugs while on welfare.  All evidence suggests that this measure will only benefit major retailers and will cost the tax payer to the tune of $7000 per recipient to administer.  It will also prevent, as far as I can tell, people from saving money in their bank accounts.  It will encourage waste and cause people to just be smarter in their current system of bartering for drugs and alcohol.  It ignores the current evidence that more alcoholics are found in the workforce, than out of it.

With the seven thousand dollars they could create actual jobs for people in the public service, build badly needed public housing, or give the money to Newstart recipients to ensure that they can provide food and shelter for themselves, and spend money at retailers, thus keeping them afloat and more people working.  They could use the administrative fee to help keep the …

Let the good-times roll?

It seems to me that too many people are turning their backs on the most vulnerable in our society.  It's easy when you think that the good times roll forever and that you are special and immune from tough circumstances due to the size of your wallet.  Some people think that if they go to Church they will be protected from financial difficulty.  They have bought the modern, common, cowardly fallacy that the Christian walk is easy, trouble free and all about a kingdom here on earth.  We might as well advertise ourselves as wusses for Jesus and be done with it.

It takes guts to speak the truth.  The Christian teaching of not placing our trust in material things seems to have been lost in the church growth insanity of the nineties and early 2000s because too many people gave up wanting to be different to the world.

 Our churches and communities would grow and benefit if we said the truth.  Being greedy isn't Christian.  Obesity and massive houses and arrogance are not going to att…

Reserve Bank of Australia, status: denial?

It would appear that the RBA today can not make up its mind whether things are going down the proverbial toilet, economically speaking, or not.

We have this article, where reportedly they warn us against "chronic pessimism".  Some commentators argue, rather well, with facts, that there is cause for pessimism, or as they like to call it, facing reality:

The comments are more entertaining to read, in my humble opinion, than the article.

Then, this:

Falling house prices are a good thing apparently.  Those selling would disagree.

First home buyers, like myself, will wait and save, and save and hope interest rates go up and prices go down.  At 7% and much lower house prices, I am in with a fighting chance.

I think all the economic ind…

Aromatherapy hair style - 50 cents

I styled my hair on the cheap today.  For the price of a drop of essential oil, a free spray bottle, salt and water diluted and essential oil added to free spray bottle, I provided myself with a cut price trim.  I'm assuming it's not too bad as my fellow house dwellers have not commented on it.
For eight dollars you can buy a bottle of "beach look" hair spray with the scent of the ocean.  At least you used to be able to, these days I spend the bare minimum time in shops with hair sprays and face lotions.  And I make my own!
Anyway, my aromatherapy trim took me about five minutes from cut to bathroom clean.  Much cheaper and faster than going to a salon and paying $28 plus.  I just can not be bothered going to the city or a shopping mall if I can trim it myself with scissors that cost me $10 over fifteen years ago.  Much easier, much cheaper.
I then spent three, yes, three hours in the garden doing some weeding and hedge trimming.  If my muscles could talk, they would…

Not on your newspapers front page

Prices always go up

It seems to me it does not matter what banks and qualified investment people say.  Most people do not believe that house prices will go anywhere but up.  Citi group, according to Business Insider, expects a price reduction and is calling current conditions a global recession.

It will take mass bankruptcies before anyone listens to the few warning voices.  It will take people navigating the hell that is the welfare system, and reductions in family benefits, probably senior benefits, before our society wakes up.

A few things are clear to me.  Evidence suggests the beginning of a contraction of the retail sector.  This is only likely to get worse.  The oft spoken savior of the tourism industry is grossly overstated and I will be surprised if there is also not a major contraction of that.  It would not surprise me if hotels and motels were brought up by the government to house refugees.  If you think I'm nuts, consider that the German government, under compulsory purchase is buying up…

You'd think I'd learn

I should have known that I was due to feel lousy.  I do feel better overall with the treatment plan I am following but these crashes still kind of surprise me.  I should expect them more than I do.

Ah well...I have a comfy bed, hot water bottle and a book to enjoy.  Which reminds me, my mum donated my book for me today to the library rather than returning it to me.   I am more amused than bemused, but perhaps I'd be annoyed if only I could find the energy for it.  This way, I don't need to worry about what to do about it after I read it.  Problem solved!

I cleaned a whole vat of windows today.  I'm pretty sure that "vat" is not the collective for windows, but I was not paying attention that day in English.  It just sounds right to me.  Nothing like a good linguistic wrangle!

Let's hope I feel a bit better tomorrow.   Definitely blah today.

Save a life

The importance of teaching children basic first aid is highlighted in this story.  I always knew drowning is a fairly quick process, but did not really appreciate just how fast, and dangerous it is. 

Worth a read, and enrolling yourself and family into first aid courses.  These skills are never wasted and can benefit for a life time.

My parents sent us to swimming lessons that included basic first aid and CPR.  These are available in most locations or you can send your children to St John Ambulance cadets and can join local adult groups if you are interested in learning more than basic first aid.

Real men commit

At what cost?

There's a small but strong hope that I might heal from CFS with the iodine protocol in the long run.  Whether I can go back to work and get off disability payments I do not know.  But there is a massive cost to the possibility of cure.

I always said I wanted cure.  There is a price.  I am yet to achieve anything worth something without paying in some way, money, blood, sweat and tears.

I've often been admired but when I tell people what it took to get to where I was...most decided the cost was too high.

If you have a goal, what are you willing to pay?

Is it, whatever it takes?

Whatever it takes may be the cure I am looking for.

Treatment options for fibromyalgia/ chronic fatigue/ chronic pain

Weekend Reading Picks: colour edition

This is such a fun idea to cheer up a room, and a good way to keep children occupied too:

Sometimes looking at pictures of what other people have done is enough to give me the boost of creativity to come up with new ideas for a space.  Sometimes it's the trigger I need to make the bed, and put out fresh flowers.

Website for the Melbourne garden festival, on this weekend!  Inspiration for all you gardeners.  I must admit, I've enjoyed spending some time outside of late.  I'm not sure I deserve the title of gardener.  I'm more of a weeder, H2O supplier and feeder of plants.  It's a start (a seed, perhaps?).

Inspiring decorating ideas:

Spring flowers to inspire you:

When gardening, leave plants in ground

Apparently if I pull out flowers that my long suffering gardening mother is nurturing, it gets a reaction.  I did a little more weeding and managed to only accidentally pull out one plant.  Poor baby plant has been transplanted and we are ever hopeful it will recover and grow to spite me.  It will be a resilient little thing after that!
I met a lovely grocery delivery man who came inside and played the piano.  Nice to hear it being played by someone with talent and skill. 
Hopefully more cheerful hard working people are given jobs.  I am sick of being served by miserable, lazy, self centred people.  If you can get someone hard working and generally cheerful, focussed on customers, why wouldn't you?  Why not get the best person for the job?  Why put up with lousy staff?  It's just not that hard to fire people, except in government and that is beginning to change as more people are put on contracts.
The world seems to be buying up basic food like oats and chickpeas much to my be…

A few minutes exercise

I was watching this video the other night on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (public government funded media, Australia) about new research, and current thinking on high intensity interval training and how it might accelerate the healing of the body by replacing mitochondria faster, and better.  It's worth a look at if you can access it.

It would appear that there can be definite benefits for some people in doing short intense exercise.  Assuming of course that their doctor has signed their body off as being robust enough for it to be safe to try.  Obviously, any exercise is better than none and some times we all should focus on rest and gentle exercise.

Three things, yet again

Three things I enjoyed today (almost free):

1)  I walked up a hill and looked at a view of the river with the sun on my back.  It was so good to be able to go for a walk.  I feel so free when I can walk somewhere safe and look all around me.  I love to be outside in the afternoon sun.

Strangely, it's been a while since I went for a morning walk.  Morning walks do not tend to be my style.  Then again, my style can, and often does, change.

2)  I enjoyed wandering around in my op-shop clothes.  The clothes cost me a little at the time, but I've worn them so much, I figure they must be about free by now!

3)  I enjoyed drinking from my tea and coffee stash.  A few cents per cup of joy.

Current treatment plan, updated, ME/CFS a.k.a SEID

I've noticed that one of my former blog posts to a link about Chronic Fatigue/SEID cure, or as I like to think of it, management plan, is receiving some hits in the last few days.  I guess it's time I did a bit of an update on what I'm up to.

At present, I'm taking highly diluted iodine on a daily basis, at doses up to 12.5 mg per day.  They are high doses and some people may warn you they are dangerous.  Certainly the first two weeks were nasty detox times.  After that, things have eased and I seem to be healing.  I still definitely have SEID/ Chronic Fatigue, but I have been able to do more and gradually tone up.  I've been able to exercise but I still need to rest, with the half days in bed still making an appearance here, and there.

It's critical that iodine is started off slowly and gradually and taken with selenium.  I can not promise that this is the protocol for you, particularly considering that I have Hashimoto's and it treats that well.  …

The problem with freedom of speech

The problem with freedom of speech, which just this week I defended, is that sometimes I do not like other people's speech.

The price I pay for defending one of the cornerstones of democracy, of civil society, less likely to encourage rampant corruption, is the need to be willing to speak up for what I believe in.  The price we all pay if we do not face our fears and speak up with love and from a place of respect, is a world where we will be silenced.

Evil regimes value silence.  The truth will always eventually stand up to intelligent and educated questioning, criticism and scrutiny.  Any belief system that does not encourage vigorous debate is dangerous.  Any belief system where people are asked to "just be" is dangerous, any belief system where the people are silenced by fear, is dangerous.

The price I pay is knowing when to allow others to speak.  My fear is that too many people lack the courage and conviction to speak up.  I feel alone too often.

My fear is that to…

The sound of one hand slapping

Now.  Let me be very clear.  I'm not advocating slapping people.  All I'm doing is acknowledging that occasionally being human, and having been pretty calm lately, perhaps the urge to slap does rear it's head, in my head.  And, in my head it will stay.  I will do more gardening, go for a walk, read a book, glare at the television, do some weights, clean the house...but no one will be slapped.

Suffice to say, I am feeling vaguely irritable because of my body doing its healing thing.  I wish you good health, and healing if you need it.  Sometimes it can be very unpleasant indeed.  Tonight, I just can not settle either.  I just feel irritated, yet calm all in all because I really do believe that I am not in control of everything.  Somehow, that's freeing.  Sure, I'm responsible, just not in control of the universe.  Small fish, big pond, and the odd big splash!

Anyway, this article might be helpful it you have a vague case of suppressed-slap-syndrome like I do:

Sunshine and gardening

Much to The Head Gardener's amusement and surprise I spent another hour and a half or so in the garden weeding.  It was such a pleasant sunny afternoon and I was not in the mood to sit around, or go for a walk, so weeding was the best compromise.

Spent the morning reading, dilly dallying and resting.  I am still someone who is healing.  I am showing signs of getting stronger.

I accept that my life will probably be one where I may battle fatigue forever.  I will continue to do what I can and hope that one day soon I will be able to do some flexible business work that allows me to spend my time looking after myself and contributing to my up keep.

Today, I am grateful for sunshine, comfy bed, coffee, laptop, good food, salad, and weeds to take out my frustration on in a healthy, useful way.

Courage and extreme acts of gardening

I managed to get up before noon today.  That's always a good way to at least try and get a few things done.

The morning was incredibly hot and windy and dangerous fires have continued to put people and property at risk.  Thankfully, as far as I am aware, the fire service have done a sterling job.

Continuing to take iodine along with other companion nutrients.  Decided to try using it as a poultice as well on my neck to encourage healing.  I think it's healing but it hurts.  We'll see.  It's a safe alternative for people freaked out about internal use given it's used for surgery.  My medical disclaimer is as always that I am not a medical doctor, and this is a diary of my experience, not advice.

Spent one and a half hours in the garden weeding and helping with tidying up.  Got told a weed could not be pulled out.  Pulled out weed.  My t-shirt was drenched in sweat by the time I was finished and I am sore, but happy with helping make the house look a bit neater.  He…

Simple Monday

I seem to have a mild cold which I am fighting.  This lead to me spending...oooohhh, I guess you could say most of the day in bed.

I thought I better get some sunshine, so up I get, had something to eat, a cup of tea and went for a walk along the beach and up and down the hill, with the odd sprint thrown in.  Came back, had a woman talk about the state of the world with The Head Gardener and watered the garden.

Tomorrow is a high fire danger day, so all non-essential watering is banned.  One house was lost yesterday in Victoria and in my state Tasmania our fire service are scurrying around literally putting out fires.

Yesterday, I was pretty sick with the combination of iodine detox symptoms and cold symptoms and trucked through it, only to crash today.  I guess it was to be expected.  I made sure I had a bath with epsom salts to help the body detox any residual gunk.

I'm drinking chamomile tea, enjoying my quickly painted red toe nails and taking one day at a time.

Just enough

I noticed there was an article in the news this week about a mother in Romania who gave up her triplets for adoption due to an inability to pay for their up bringing.  My guess is that their welfare system is not as generous as ours.  The babies made my heart melt and arms ache, so the poor mother must be in hell.  I'm grateful my mother and father could always afford to keep me close.

I'm grateful that it's opened my heart, and not just my head, to the possibility of adoption in my future.  It's made me look at it differently.  It was always an option but one, up until then, I thought made me a failure somehow and less of a woman.  I realized that it's not a lesser option, just an option.  Such gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous babies.

I hope those children find a loving, secure family that will raise them to be amazing people with generous hearts.

May you be blessed with just enough this week.  May you be abundantly blessed with generosity, bravery, curiosity, cour…

Pain and responsibility

One of the better articles I have read recently about mental health and the importance of both support and taking responsibility to find a plan that works.

Head spinning

My head is spinning.  There are so many thoughts spinning around, I'm finding settling down to sleep an impossibility.  I will make myself settle down soon.

Let me tell you about my day though.  Today I enjoyed the simple pleasures of feeling stronger, of being able to actively play with a three, almost four year old. 

My relationship with my parents has settled overall to one of respect on both sides.  At the moment, and I hope it does not change, we can share conversation and healthy disagreement without making each other feel anything other than loved and respected. 

I am working hard on focussing on what I can do to change, and on how I can be a good example to others.  I know I have my weaknesses and I know that financial rewards will probably not follow, but no amount of money can buy the kind of day I had today. 

I am incredibly grateful.  I have a roof over my head, food in my stomach, family, friends made through daily activities, a stronger body, a sense of purpose, t…

That's the risk I take

Two articles on "The Drama Triangle" and the roles we all can play in family relationships which tend to be unhelpful for ourselves, and others:
How to create healthier family relationships that work for everyone:

Two Hills, One Day

Managed to walk to, and along the beach front twice today.  Once with my mum, shocked she was not blitzing me as I have come to expect.  At my age, I should be faster, and for the first time in a long time, I was a little faster and a little stronger.

Then,  I moped around, read a book, drank tea, cleaned a bathroom, emptied the dishwasher and vacuumed a floor.  Got a bit peeved and ran up the stairs.  How can I stay too peeved when I realize that I ran up the stairs?

 Then walked up and down the hill a second time just to make sure I've got it figured out.  I may be getting stronger.  Body very sore but content and happy with anything like progress.  Rounded all that out with some cat like Pilates stretches.

Have family dramas going on in the background.  I am determined to remain sane and centered as much as is possible.