Monday, November 08, 2010


All year I have struggled with something. While my health has definitely improved, my mood is great and my energy levels aren't too bad, I've had real issues with trying to focus on any one thing. I find myself floundering from one point of interest to another, not really sure where I want to expend my energies.
I still feel guilty about not scrapbooking. It doesn't worry me when my friends try to get me back to it, I understand how they must feel like in a small way I've abandoned them and not just the craft. My main reasons for scrapbooking apart from the pleasure of playing with papers and embellishments, I wanted to document my life with photos and journalling. I wanted something that my kids can look back on when they're all grown up. I want them to know how loved they are, and I didn't want to forget things myself.
My personal income has dropped dramatically. Not teaching means I'm kept in basic pocket money with Peter having to pick up lots of expenses that I used to meet, like kids' clothes and hair cuts. I'm currently cutting the kids' hair and being extra grateful for hand me downs. I have a low credit card debt which I maintain, but no personal loans as such at the moment which is great. I've been paying cash for things lately which is the way it has to be when my weekly income is so low. I have no money at all left in the bank on a fortnightly basis, and the little I earn, is my pocket money, which means I often buy fruit/veges, fuel, or give the kids money and of course my Thai meal on a Friday night. It's my 'purse money', it's also what I use when I buy new markers or some other card making item. It suits me well enough, but I'm very discerning, and there's certainly no money left over for scrapping paraphernalia.
I'm pleased, therefore that I maintain this blog. I can document happenings on here as I enjoy writing and I find I write down much more than when I was scrapping anyway. I will go down the road of digital scrapbooking, but have had no time for it lately, although I need to finish last years Christmas Album, which I will do digitally (with no guilt). I have lots of digital elements which will be perfect for it.
The year is quickly drawing to an end and I want to write down what my focal points of interest will be, hence the title of my post today. I am still working on the website for Barbi and we are considering taking another direction with this. The newer version of Joomla will be released soon and is not going to be a simple upgrade. We think it's time to move onto something more dynamic and something that will grow with us. I have signed up for a trial of Business Catalyst and have also downloaded a trial version of Dreamweaver. As both are Adobe products, there's a compatibility there for the two to work in together.
I'm feeling better that clarity has finally come to me. I've been in a mixed up state of mind for a while, not knowing where to head. I'm still not 100% sure how I'll proceed as I need to buy Dreamweaver, and a course would be great too. TAFE has a course which runs for 18 hours and costs over $300. I could get the program for about $130 as a student's price. Both of these costs I could claim back on our tax which would be good. I will do more research on this before I make a final commitment. It all seems a bit overwhelming at the moment, but I think it will be useful for me. There are also online classes available, which I can investigate. I'm disciplined enough to do this, so that's an option too.
Before the end of 2010 I'm going to
* Teach a Copic A&B class on a Saturday
* Teach a photography class on a Saturday
* Make my Christmas Cards
* Colour my new stamps
* Decide on our Christmas menu
* Do all the Christmas shopping
* Complete Suzy's Christmas Album Class (my darling is paying for this for me <3)
* Complete photos for 2009 album, I always finish this before making the new one.
* Research Business Catalyst and Dreamweaver classes
* Complete trial for Business Catalyst
* Look into handbag making. A gift idea I'm looking into, I can sew and have been neglecting this craft for a long time.

Many of these things will carry over into 2011, but I want to make a start now, and some of course will need to be done by the end of the year. I'm feeling positive and excited about the possibilities.
While scrapbooking isn't taking centre stage anymore, my love of photography is no different, my involvement and love of Daisy's is as strong as ever, so I know I'm not neglecting the industry or my interests.
Just as a totally unrelated aside......I've just caught a glimpse of my desktop on the iMac, and I am so excited to be getting another cat. Rusty is just gorgeous and I can't believe I love him so much already. Karen saw me holding him in a photo, and she asked me was I holding a cat or a baby.........well he's a baby kitty, and pretty special, and it's lovely to have those emotions awakened.
Another aside, am sipping on a Stefani Estate Pinot Gris.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

An Exceptional Weekend

It's Sunday afternoon and I'm feeling very relaxed and content. It's been a great few days in our family, and on the heels of a lovely week too.
Peter and I dropped the kids off in Caloundra around 8am on Friday morning. The weather was foul, teeming rain, and not nice to be driving in. I don't know what it is about us going away, and rain lol.... Seems to happen with regular monotony. Thankfully by the time we got to Brisbane, the rain had gone away, actually it hadn't rained in Brisbane at all.
Of course we got lost. Well not lost as such, but dear Bunny stuffed up and we took a wrong turn. 'Oh no Barbi, Peter says he's fine once we get onto the bridge!!'. Thank God we had directions up until that point, but next year I'll make sure we have directions right to the hotel door!!! Of course he gets so peeved and cranky lol..... I don't even get cranky at him, he does it all to himself - hilarious. Gosh I wish I knew my way around the city, so it's not such a huge drama every single time we go there. I'm sure we'd go there more often if we felt more confident.
We checked into our hotel, and breathed a sigh of relief as we headed to the convention centre. I can't believe I was so naive though to think we would be amongst the first 100 so we could get a pack!!! There were 100s of people waiting, possibly thousands, the line was very long and wide...... Apparently there were some people at the doors already at 7am!!! Unbelievable. I was also astounded that they were all Mums. Mostly just groups of girlfriends. I wondered to myself how they would go picking up their children after school. It's not something I would do that's for sure. The atmosphere was fantastic and the wine exhibitors were happy to chat about their wine, and we're rapt we decided to go on the Friday. We definitely made the right decision there. Saturdays is for the yobboes and those intending to get drunk. Needless to say the wine stall holders are tired and have had enough by Saturday afternoon, and the tasters like us who are serious about finding new wine tastes feel a little overwhelmed by the ruckus.
We met some lovely people. The lady from Stefani's winery was just the sweetest person, even saying that if we're ever in the area we should pop in and visit. We tasted some really nice Pino Gris, which has never been something I've ever liked before. I even drank a mango sparkling wine, which I was reluctant to try as my taste buds have grown way past those kinds of lolly wines....but I was pleasantly surprised. It was delicious, fruity, fresh and not sickly sweet at all
At the Oxford Landing Restaurant, I had an entree of Tofu and buckwheat, a very interesting lunch, and very different from what I'd normally eat. Dessert was a walnut tart with a salty caramel sauce.
We had so much fun together. It's really special being able to walk around, hand in hand without a care in the world. We visited the Grinders stall three times, to drink their coffee. We had two short blacks during the afternoon to keep us going.
Six o'clock on the dot, we were kicked out. They're very strict about when it finishes. We walked back to our hotel with our bounty, of around 8 bottles of wine. We'd actually forgotten to go back to buy a Mango sparkling, nor did we go back and buy these really cool wine glasses. They're $10 more to buy from the website and when you include freight, so that was a shame to forget them. They'll be ideal for going where only plastic is allowed. I can't stand drinking wine out of a plastic cup, but these have been designed by a person who knows about wine. They're stemless and completely shatterproof.
Peter was hungry and eager to go out to dinner. I could have easily had room service and sat in my jammies. But, I showered, washed my hair, and donned a dress and heels and we walked over to Southbank and sat down in a Turkish restaurant. The food was awesome, but I had no hunger what so ever, so my entree platter of dips and turkish bread was largely untouched by me, and Peter ate all the bread and about half of the dips. The serving was huge, would have easily served 4 people for an entree.
I couldn't wait to go back to the hotel and go to bed. I was exhausted. We both had a pretty cruddy night's sleep, although I slept okay for about 3 hours!! Peter's snoring kept us both awake. Even a double dose of sleeping pills didn't help me. The buffet breakfast in the morning was awesome. I was actually hungry for that. The cereals, juices and breads were just delicious. We checked out at 11am and headed for home.
The kids had stayed with Peter's parents so we picked them up on the way home. They'd all had a lovely time too.
By 1pm I'd put on my jammies and was in my bed. I dozed for a couple of hours and then we headed out to pick up Izzy and to visit Rusty. My little kitten fell asleep on me yet again. Think I'll get my schmoozy cat yet!!
When we got home, I showered and got dressed and headed out to join Karen and Barbi at the retreat. I'm glad I went even though I was almost zombie like from fatigue. The food Barbi prepared was scrumptious, good simple fare, but I was ravenously hungry, making up for Friday I think. I was home and tucked back into bed at midnight. I'd decided I wasn't going back for the Sunday. I really needed and wanted a day at home.
Today I slept in, had a late breakfast and then did chores for most of the day. I cleaned some windows, did a heap of washing, and tidied. I feel good knowing I'm all organized for the week ahead.
I need to book an appointment with my counsellor. I don't want to end up with panic attacks again this year, and Christmas with all it's 'busyness' is starting to create havoc in my head. I've got a year 10 meeting to go to on Tuesday night, next week I'm taking photos for Julia's formal and also attending the pre formal 'do'. School is finished in only four weeks!! Can't believe the year is almost over again.
My Christmas list isn't done, and my budget is incredibly low. I'm going to contact my brother and suggest we do no gifts for each other. My presents to my girlfriends will be much less this year too, which is a shame, as I'd love to spend more on them, they are easy and fun to buy for. The Christmas album class is coming up and I was really tossing up whether or not to do it. I know Peter would have given me the money if I'd asked, as I don't have the money put aside for it this year. Alas fate has jumped in and taken that decision away from me as Sammy's IEP is on the same morning. I will think about it a bit more, but I don't think I'll get the kit either. Sad really, but I have to be practical and realistic. I have a little work coming up, so I'll hold off making the final decision and see how I'm travelling. Either way, I can't be at the class, and it's an annual tradition, something that Karen and I normally do together, although the last few years, she's left early to attend a school function, so perhaps it's just not meant to be.
I'm looking forward to Christmas. To hopefully having the family together, laughing, eating delicious food and drinking great wines. The only thing that would make it better, is if we could stay home on Christmas Day..... I know I shouldn't be like that. I always enjoy the day, but I'm so so weary, and quite frankly have had enough of the festivities for a few days anyway, so much so that I don't even want to do anything for my birthday, but a couple of days after Christmas Eve and I'm already thinking of what I can do. Tiredness is a pain in the butt, and takes away all motivation.
It's late afternoon, and I'm tired again. Looking forward to a nice night's sleep again tonight. I want to feel energized for the week ahead.


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