April 14, 2013

Where did the weekend go?

Posted in Food, ME/CFS tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:52 pm by Reva

I’ve written half a dozen blog posts in my head this weekend but do you think I can remember any of it? To top it off I think my brain is mush and my house looks like it’s been ransacked. I was determined to have the house looking at least tidy by the time the weekend was over but there are still dirty dishes on the bench, you can’t see the top of the kitchen table and the doona that I took the cover off last weekend is still lying on the floor. The dog has stolen the good spot on the couch – in fact she’s walking circles at the moment rearranging herself. Okay, I know that she’s a small fluffy thing that I could move but she looks so cute (and by the good spot I mean I would lie down there amongst the cushions and quilt, and not write anything at all). I promise I’ll move her when I’m done.

As my brain is just mush I’m just going to see what comes out. Oh, I did do some fun stuff at the beginning of the weekend (I had a bonus weekend day on Friday). A friend invited me over with some other ladies for a “macaron masterclass”. It was so lovely to be able to learn something new and I enjoyed sitting around drinking coffee, eating good food and just generally chatting. I did try to make some myself when I got home (love my new stool – I sat down the whole time) and I think I can honestly say, without a doubt, they were a disaster. I accidentally added the sugar too early, and eventually too much sugar all together so that they were extremely sticky when they first came out of the oven, and then so so crunchy. Like a rock. I did want to try again but when I woke up this morning a faced the fact that I really didn’t have the capacity to do it. Then I spent four hours sitting on the couch. I did a lot of that this weekend.

I have a few blog posts mentally planned, some even started, but I require more brain capacity than I have right now so I think I’ll just give you some pictures of my macarons from our masterclass (not the disaster ones – they weren’t pretty) and attempt to do a better job of writing next week

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February 16, 2013

The Versatile Blogger Award

Posted in Award tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:54 pm by Reva

I want to thank Mommabel from True Life Is Stranger Than Fiction who nominated me for The Versatile Blogger award and apologise for the fact that it has taken me so long to sit down and respond.

versatileblogger113

The rules of this award are:

• Thank the person who gave you the award and include a link to their blog (see above)

• Select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or regularly follow

• Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award

• Tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself

• You can find more information and other winners here

Here are my nominations – a combination of blogs I’ve been following regularly for a while, and a few ones I’ve recently discovered:

1. Lethargic Smiles

2. Musings of a Dysautonomiac

3. Momentary Solutions

4. Rag And Bone Shop Of The Heart

5. Knocked over by a feather

6. Hope For Heather

7. Oh What A Pain In The…

8. Throughhikerlife

9. Does Your Journey Seem Long?

10. Debauchery Soup

11. decimawho

12. Disorderly Chickadee

13. neveraloneblog

14. The Nerves Prick

15. Do I look Sick?

To my nominees: Please don’t feel obliged to follow the rules if you aren’t into awards, have already received the award, don’t have the strength or for any other reason– I just hope that I’ve sent some extra traffic your way xx

And finally, seven things about me:

1. I love the colour combination of pink and green

2. I hate being untidy but I can’t seem to overcome it

3. My cousin introduced me to wine (fruity lexia from a cask) at my Confirmation BBQ when I was 10. We broke the news to my mum about 10 years later. A further 10 years on she’s still getting over it.

4. Sometimes I just want to run and I hate my body for not letting me do it.

5. I love the TV show Scrubs. It’s my go-to section of my DVD collection when I’m having a bad day

6. I have conjoined toes. My swimming teacher told me it would make me swim faster. My swimming teacher lied.

7. I think my dog is hilarious, but accept that I might be biased.

January 20, 2013

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Biscuits

Posted in Food, ME/CFS tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 2:16 pm by Reva

Today I tried to work on an assignment which has a due date that is zooming towards me. I managed my initial 45 minute goal, took my 15 minute scheduled break, and couldn’t get back into it. I took an hour or so to just lay and had another go at the assignment. This just confirmed that my brain is pretty much mush at the the moment so I decided to bake. I’ve had a rocky couple of weeks and baking makes me happy, even if it can use nonexistent energy. I decided to bake my favourite chocolate chip biscuits. Super easy and I had planned to make them for the past two weeks as a part of a (belated) Christmas gift for a family friend.

choc choc chip biscuits

I love these biscuits because they are so easy and I always have the ingredients on hand; coming from a Women’s Weekly cook book, they never fail. The ingredients are also listed in weight so I find that I’m also saved a tonne of washing up because I just just pop the mixing bowl on the scales and add everything straight in.

I decided today to do something really crazy and replace some of the flour with cocoa powder; what can I say? I like to live dangerously 😉

chocolate choc chip biscuits

Overall it was a success. The biscuits were crispier than the original version, but in a good way. They were very cracked on top, so I might have to play around with the recipe or oven temp next time. There was one small almost-disaster where I was trying to unload one tray onto the cooling rack, and load the next tray on my too narrow kitchen bench tops, and the cooling rack toppled off. Fortunately the batch was saved from the floor by my buffet, all but one anyway. And only one third of that one was demolished by Maisie.

Ingredients

250g butter
165g castor sugar
165g brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
300g self raising flour
30g cocoa
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
300g dark chocolate chips

Method

1. Beat butter, sugars, extract and egg until creamy.
2. Sift in flour, cocoa and bicarbonate soda and stir until combined.
3. Stir in chocolate chips. Refrigerate for an hour.
4. Preheat oven to 180degrees
5. Roll level tablespoons of dough into balls and place on a greased oven tray 3cm apart. Bake for approximately 12 minutes.

supper

December 22, 2012

Road Trip

Posted in Journey, Progress, Strategies tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:47 pm by Reva

I’ve just made the 300km trip to my hometown to spend Christmas with my family.  It’s a long trip when you have a chronic illness and are travelling alone (well, with a dog) but it’s a good opportunity to have a good think.

1km

Coffee break.  Okay, so I planned this to avoid making and cleaning up breakfast.  Poor Dog thought she was going to a play date, but just enough time to grab a quick coffee, a piece of toast and read the first two pages of the paper

coffee

17km

Where’s the cruise button gone? Same place that the volume control is on the steering wheel.  I don’t have it.  I’m not driving one of the work cars.

63km

As I’m going through a slightly windy part of the route I remember a conversation I had with my mum in the same spot 12 years.  I’d just bought my first car and we were driving home.  Dad was driving ahead and Mum decided she needed to tell him something.  She was going to phone him and I suggested that maybe as we were in a fairly remote area we probably wouldn’t have reception.  She couldn’t understand why that would be the case when we could see his car.  Sorry mum, they’re not walky talkies

120km

I’ve remembered 4 things that I’m sure I’ve forgotten.  Nothing urgent, just inconvenient.

124km

I’ve forgotten what it was that I remembered I’d forgotten.

136km

Time to stretch our legs in the largest town along our route, a thriving metropolis of 2300 people!  Coax the dog out of the car.  Wander around letting her sniff things.   Coax her back into the car with treats.  Check the boot to see if maybe I remembered to pack the lollies.  Nope, I really did forget them.

149km

One of my favourite road signs.  Sounds much more pleasant than a bumpy road.

 bumpy road

My other favourite is “Fatigue Kills”.  It hasn’t got me yet!!

167km

The scenery

photo

180km

swamp

I’ve been driving this road regularly for the past four years.  It was only during floods about 18months ago that I realised this was swampland.  Prior to that the droughts in the area had dried it out.

197km

Starting to fade.  I could do with those lollies.  I know they’d make me feel terrible later but a sugar high would help me get through the last 100km

209km

Christmas in rural Australia – I was hoping to see the old scarecrows that a farmer dresses up as a Christmas family watching TV would be out but I either missed them or they’ve been put away.

christmas letter box

213km

A duck? Out here? Just out of the corner of my eyes I’m sure that’s what I saw.  Can’t have.  Hold on, could have been a snake, a brown snake curled up with its head up.  Hmm.  Not going back to find out.

228km

Straight ahead and behind.  The farmers in this region have had it really tough.  After a decade of drought there were massive floods through the region about 18 months ago.  Now everything is so dry again.  Many farmers are unsuccessfully trying to sell up, and walking off the land.

aheadbackward

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

247km

I could really do with a bathroom break thanks to the coffee and the attempt to keep hydrated…but you saw the scenery

263km

There’s some fantastic Australian music on my playlist.  I just hit play on the alphabetical list and am finding myself singing along to some oldies but goodies (You Am I, Powderfinger ) as well as some newies (The Rubans, San cisco).

287km

Nearly home…the ground starts to turn red.

red dirt

298km

Made it

the end

December 13, 2012

Angst-ridden Adolescence

Posted in Journey tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:32 pm by Reva

If you don’t like listening to whiney tweens/teens, it might be a good to stop reading now because I suspect I may end up sounding like one before this ends.  I’m having one of those situations that as a grown up I know I should just get over but for some reason my mind reverts back to my insecure youth. But I’m quickly learning that if I get something that’s bothering me down on paper (or computer screen) the answer comes to me, or if it doesn’t I still stop thinking about it.

I have a friend who I had considered a close friend.  She lived in another town, as most of my close friends do.  We spoke most days by long SMS conversations.  We’d give each other support and advice about things going on in our lives.  About two years ago she relocated to the town where I live.  She stayed at my house for three months while the settlement for her house came through.  We talked about all the things we’d do now we lived only 2 blocks apart.  We could have meals together each week.  We could go for walks together after work.  We’d try to work out the best place to become our “local” for regular Friday night drinks.  We’d go to markets.  We’d watch our favourite TV shows together.

When her settlement came through I bought her house warming gifts, and baked gluten free treats for her guests.  And then everything stopped.  I invited her for dinner – she was busy.  Her mum was staying (I know her mum, we buy each other birthday and Christmas gifts).  He uncle was coming to do some work on her house.  She got a dog and had to take it to dog school.  I took a step back and decided to let her settle at her own pace.

I went out and decided to join a community group, something we’d talked about doing together that she suddenly was no longer interested in doing.  I got on with my life.  Occasionally if it was appropriate I’d ask her to come to local events with me, things that we’d talked about doing in the past but she was always busy, her mum was visiting, she didn’t like crowds or she was broke.  We’d still catch up, but only on her terms, and only at McCafe, with our two dogs tied up next to us.  It was her 30th birthday early this year.  She’d done some lovely things for my 30th and I wanted to return the favour.  I asked her out for High Tea.  She was busy, her mum was here and she had to take the dog to dog school, and she couldn’t afford it, could we go somewhere else, like McCafe?

A few months ago she had severe gastro.  I offered to get her some things from the shops.  I had my head bitten off, if that’s possible via SMS.  I knew she was unwell and let it go.  I grabbed some lemonade, dry biscuits and a magazine and left it by her front door.  When she thanked me I told her that I understood what it was like to be stuck at home sick, and that even if you don’t feel like talking to anyone it’s still nice to know someone is there for you.

A few months later when I had my crash she didn’t repay the favour.  She asked me to catch up the following Saturday for coffee – because she had to go to the shops anyway.  In the past I would have dropped anything, but generally being in a better place I said no, I was unwell and it would be too much for me.  She asked what was wrong and when I told her there was nothing.  No enquiry as to whether I needed anything brought to me, or done for me.  A few days later she asked something again and I apologised and reiterated my previous comments.  I didn’t go into great detail other than I was too unwell to go out.  If I hadn’t had my epiphany about friendships I probably would have been really cut up about it but by now the behaviour was so prolonged I would have been shocked if there’d been any recognition.

Last Christmas we caught up for take away pizza in a local park where the dogs sat tied to a fence.  This year I thought it would be nice to have something a little less stressful – juggling wrapping paper, Christmas gifts, pizza and dogs on a park bench – so asked if she wanted to do the same thing but in my back yard so the dogs could be free to run and we wouldn’t have to juggle.  The response? I’m busy, maybe but mum will be here soon so it’ll have to be before she gets here.  I’d rather go to McCafe.

So suddenly the brilliant place I was in a few months ago is gone and I feel like I’m back to the insecure self I have been in the past, and don’t know why I’m there – I’m plenty busy enough without worrying about this stuff.  I feel I’ve been demoted to the McCafe friend.  I don’t want to go to McCafe.  McCafe have hard plastic uncomfortable seats that make me ache all the following day.  I can’t bring myself to reply because I’m swinging between being a softy grown up (“Sure, McCafe sounds wonderful.  How’s Monday at 5.30?”), a sooky anxious adolescent (“have I done something to upset you? Don’t you want to be my friend anymore?” – to which I envision the reply “well if you don’t know, I’m not telling you”) and the slightly unpleasant (“nope, actually McCafe sucks, especially for a Christmas celebration.  If that’s all I’m good for let’s just skip it”).

let-take-down-notch-friendship-ecard-someecards

October 17, 2012

Meet Miss Maisie

Posted in Strategies tagged , , , at 7:51 pm by Reva

Maisie’s my guard dog.  No really, she is!

Maisie loves toast, licking things (everything – faces, the floor, the air, I’ve even caught her licking walls on at least two occasions), her friends Barney, Polly and Nelly, hiding rawhide in her special places (frequently under my pillow) , the next door neighbour (who visits her when I’m at work) and the cleaner.

She likes doing neighbourhood watch from the end of my bed, and comes to find me to tell me if there is something out of place.  She likes to bark so that everyone knows how big and tough she is.  This includes the large dogs we pass on our walks.

She doesn’t like other dogs walking anywhere she can see from the front window.  Or cats she can see from the front window.  Or people she can see from the front window.  Or birds…anywhere.

Maisie knows how to sit (when she wants to), wait (if she chooses to), find her duck (or whatever toy is closest to her that she thinks might pass as her duck and get her a treat) and to check if someone’s at the door.

The truth is on the really bad days, without Maisie I’d go a little crazy.  I really think that since Maisie came to live with me I’ve managed my ME/CFS better.  Having another living thing with me means that I can talk to a living creature other than myself.