Sunday, January 8, 2012

Weight Loss

I last posted about weight loss over 18 months ago.  If my scheme then had worked, I would be about 74 kg by now, but I'm not.  Why, well my scheme just didn't work, I found it impossible to limit myself to three meals and three snacks.  Not only that when my three snacks came from the selection above, you can see why I actually gained weight.

So after a year of pigging out on chocolate I hit a high of 94 kg and I felt terrible.  In November 2011 I decide to stop eating chocolate.  By day 12 of no chocolate I was feeling good so I decided to cut out dairy too.  Cutting out chocolate was easy, but dairy was harder.  Still on day 14 I went to a party and ate chocolate cake, so back to square one.  The Christmas came with more chocolate on the menu.  But for some reason New Years no chocolate or dairy, easy, maybe because I hosted the party and there was no chocolate or dairy on the menu :)

The result is that since mid November I have had very little chocolate (by my standards, probably normal amounts for most people) and almost no dairy.  My digestive system is thanking me and I have lost 4 kg in 2 months.  Last time I hopped on the scales I weighed in at 89.9kg, so a loss of 4kg and my first goal met, I now have a weight that starts with 8.  My goal for 2012 is to have a weight starting with 7 by the end of the year, and my all time goal is 74kg.  At 173cm tall that is well within the healthy weight range, and the weight I looked best at after having Amber 16 years ago.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bread Machine 2

I bought the bread machine, and made my first lovely loaf with it.  I love the smell of bread baking.  However, I messed up my calculations yesterday.  The shop had two machines, one was my lovely Panasonic for $279, yes $100 more than I posted, still that's only another 40 days to pay it off by not buying bread.  So I bought it, the other one, for $190 was a Sunbeam with the same silly spring thing as the old Sanyo, so no way I was I going to buy it.  Also when I take into account making pizza for tea once a week, the savings on pizza bases is about $6, so that really cuts the days down to 83 days till its paid for itself.  Not bad when I plan on using it daily for another 5 years or so.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bread Machine

For the past 16 years I have had a Panasonic Bread Machine.  Actually that's not strictly accurate, i've had 2 of them, they aren't designed to last forever.  In that whole time I've found that home made bread costs about half of bought bread.  My second machine died last year, since then I've been using a Sanyo that was given to me by Mum.

It isn't as good as the Panasonic, the bread doesn't have the right texture, but even worse it has a serious design fault.  The bread pan is held in by a couple of bits of bent metal at the top of the machine.  Each time I put the pan in or remove it I have to push or pull it past these bits of metal.  The first time I saw it I could tell this was a mistake, and last week I was proven right.  The bits of metal have gradually weakened and no longer hold the pan in place.  The machine works perfectly if I am prepared to stand there and hold the pan in place, but that kind of defeats the purpose, I might as well make it by hand, but sadly I just don't have the time.  Note the woosy little hooks holding the pan in, also note the dried dough, I had to take the last dough out and cook in manually

It's been costing me $5 a day to keep the family in bread.  That's two loaves of bakery bread.  I just calculated that it costs about $2.5 to make home made bread, so half the cost.  I checked out a new bread machine and it will cost me $179, which works out to be 71.6 day's bread.  So within 3 months the new machine will have paid itself off.  So guess what I'm buying today?  You guessed it, a new Panasonic bread machine.  No more bought bread.  Fresh bread all the way.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I love that hat

I love this hat pattern so much I made two.  One out of mohair for Amber, I made it last year, then this year I needed a hat myself, so I made this one out of wool.  I just love it, so warm and comfy, and it looks great too.  I'm making a matching mobeus scarf, knitting is so much fun.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Today I did my regular fortnightly helpline shift.  Every second Sunday from 10 - 2 I make sure I'm home and available to answer the phone.  Mums from all over Australia ring the helpline number for breastfeeding help.  I am one of approximately 900 counsellors in Australia, we take turns to take phone calls. I really enjoy it, it is great to be able to help people.

It was an interesting shift today, usually on a Sunday the phone rings hot for the first how and then slows down.  I usually have a call at 10am on the dot.  Today I hadn't had one by 10:15, so I rang the number to check that I really was on.  I had one call before 11 and then it sped up until 1 and then calmed down again.  I usually have about 12 calls on a shift, so todays 11 was pretty much normal.   Just interesting that they come in fits and starts.

I also do email counselling, where people enter their query onto our website and its gets sent to one of about 7 counsellors rostered on for a few days.  It is interesting the number of people who email that they couldn't get through on the phone and after some questioning I discover it is because they haven't read the information properly.  A lot of VOIP phones won't connect because there is an extra number on the end, so if you are having trouble getting through drop off the extra 6 and you should get through no problems.  This is written on all of the literature, yet many people don't notice it.  I hope the VOIP providers fix the glitch soon as we aren't the only organisation with an extra number :)

Monday, May 23, 2011


Friday 20 May 2011

Amber, Possum and I head out to check the sheep today. I know there is no way I can handle our recalcitrant ewe on my own. She’s in the yard, fit and healthy with the two lambs still alive. Well done ewe for keeping them alive on a cold night. Amber and I open the little gate and out she goes like a Bondi tram. She heads for the gate we had shut and runs into it three times, third time lucky over she goes. Disaster, I’m looking at rearing these lambs, night time feeds, torture, I’ve already done it with four kids, don’t need to do it with two lambs.

We run to the ute and chase the ewe around the paddock. Amber and I jump out and run her down, Amber sits on her while I drive the ute up beside her. We lift her onto the ute, she weighs a tonne, quite a struggle. We get her up and pause for breath, big mistake. She’s up on her feet, runs across the back of the ute and off the other side. Off across the paddock she goes, we ring Hubby to tell him the good news, but don’t worry we’ll sort it. Great! Amber and I head her off again, but she’s in the middle of the rocks, no way I can get the ute up beside her. Amber and I wonder what to do, Possum hops out of the ute and the ewe jumps up and runs straight past him. Back in the ute again, we follow her across the paddock, she heads towards the flock, so we cut her off and head her back towards the shed. Eventually she collapses. Amber sits on her again while I bring the ute up beside her. This time we consider hobbling her while she is on the ground, but then we realise we can’t lift her up with her legs tied together, its all we can do to lift her as it is. Still I have the hobbles in my pocket and the moment we get her on the back of the ute the hobbles go on, before we even put the side up.

We head back to the shed, we’ve been chasing her for over half an hour, we are hoping the lambs are still there. As we drive into the shed yard I spot one lamb still in the sheep yards, Amber spots the other near the water trough. I pull up as close as possible to the yard, as I’m reversing into place Amber panics “Stop mum!” I stop, the lamb has headed our way and is under the back of the ute. Close call. We gently lower the ewe over the side and force her back into the little yard. We put the lambs in with her, check her water and head back to the inlaws for a quick drink and to give the keys back.

Surprise, Hubby pulls in just after us. Apparently Father in Law had gone to check on us because we took so long, but couldn’t find us. Amazing, it is only 1000 acres, not the Simpson desert. Still we did it ourselves, justly proud. Hubby suggests we head back and check the ewe, she can’t be too bad she kept the lambs alive all night. At the yard we open the other gates and allow the ewe a long slow walk to the paddock, she goes a short way and waits for the littlest lamb. Hubby and I agree that I’ll come back after school to check on them. We head home, Hubby goes back to work, I stop off to find out the cost of lamb formula, jaw drop it costs $80 for enough for 2 lambs for six weeks. That ewe better get it right.

After school Lily, Possum and I head out to the farm to check on the ewe and her lamb. We can’t see here when we get there. We check the yards, no lambs, we follow the path she had to take to get the lambs into the paddock, no lambs. Thankfully no sign of ewe or lambs. I pack the oats and buckets back into the shed, hopefully we won’t have to do that again.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Monday 16 May

I checked the sheep, they were all in the front paddock, about 20 lambs, maybe more, they are very hard to count, all hiding in the stubble.

Wednesday 18 May

The sheep are hiding in the back paddock, they move around a lot! One ewe looks a bit unwell, but the rest are healthy and happy, I counted about 23 lambs. FIL tells me about the disaster of his day, finding a ewe with the lamb dead inside, and trying to get it out, legs come but no lamb. I really don’t want that with my sheep.

Thursday 19 May

The sheep have moved again, they are fast on their feet. They are in the damn paddock. I check the back paddock just to be on the safe side, there are a couple of ewes with 3 lambs between them trailing the flock, still travelling to the damn paddock. I keep going, and there in the back paddock is a lump that wasn’t there the day before, my first problem ewe. I drive up and find a ewe on the ground, laying on her side, sheep don’t lay on their side unless something is going wrong. She has two lambs, one is healthy the other isn’t so good. It looks like the first one fed while the second was being born, and then the ewe lay down, for some reason they won’t feed while she is laying down, even though they can see the udder. I try to lift her up, but she weights a tonne. Have I mentioned that these ewes are in really good condition, 72 sheep on 1000 acres way too much food to go round. Eventually I ring Hubby to come and help, the in laws are in town shopping so its up to him. While I’m waiting I check the rest of the flock, I count 27 lambs including the two with the sick ewe. Hubby heads out to help me, and lifts the ewe who promptly races off to the other end of the paddock. We put the lambs in the ute and head off after her, racing around. Eventually we pick her up and put the three of them in the sheep yards with some water and oats. The lambs are feeding when we head off. Good going for the day.