Friday, November 30, 2012

Stupid smart sheep

So I've been told sheep are smart. Well I'm just not sure whether they are so stupid that they have us fooled they are smart or so smart they have us believing they are stupid??
So it 37 {friggin pants on fire} degrees outside and the three Dorper {breed of sheep} musketeers decide to go on a farm side adventure. They duck under a few fences, visit a few well known tree lines for some shade, stop by the cows for a chinwag. - this all takes place over the course of a few hours just to mess with my day.
THEN they spot it! 
The green grass just the other side of the fence. 
Right next to.... 
The road side.




Now I actually have to intervene.

So here's the problem:
  1. I'm already 200m behind the three sheep.
  2. The paddock they need to return to is where they are clearly going to be hijacking it from once they catch sight of me.
  3. Another 200m down the road and there is a school (public embarrassment or help, not sure which?).
  4. The road also splits into a fork.
  5. I'm wearing gumboots, so can't run in these...
  6. Frig squeak is at home with no idea I've bailed outside and taken off down the road (surely farmers do this kind of thing all the time right???)
So anyway long story short we stare it off. The leader makes a dash for it and takes the other two. Then stops giving me a false hope that we might come to some agreement over this little misunderstanding.
I take off my boots, realise the road will scorch my feet, so put my boots back on. the Dorpers {or DORKers as they are known by in our household} hear kids at the school and are distracted enough for me to get just past them enough to shoo them back up the road towards the house. 

The little buggers then speedily gap it under the fence and back into their own paddock like they have been there all along.

By the time I arrive back, dripping in sweat, they are happily drinking from their trough and I scowl
"don't worry boys it's gonna be much cooler where I have planned for ya".

Bloody sheep! If I didn't have the right to feel yuck with a migraine already I can tell you it's a double O for awesome now!

FYI - marked red flag!

It seems I got a little carried away in my post about heading home to New Zealand. After numerous emails and personal follow ups I can now see that I clearly didn't state that we were going back to New Zealand for a NINE DAY HOLIDAY.

We have had a rough year and moving across the ditch is just the beginning of it and it seems that as I began to write about heading back to New Zealand to see my family, I got a little caught up in the emotion of it all and mislead quite a few people.

  • We have not moved back to New Zealand
  • We are safely back in little rural New South Wales, Australia.

I humbly apologise for anyone who got overly excited and started planning our homecoming parties! {You may return the cases our champagne that were purchased...}

I also am sorry for any distress or unneeded sleepless nights I have caused anyone thinking they would lose us from our tiny place in New South Wales. {I promise I wasn't packing my bags and doing a midnight runner!}

With that all cleared I hope you may go about and enjoy your weekend. We have lots planned. December 1st means Christmas decorating in our house...
What are you going to be doing this weekend?
Only a twenty five days until Christmas!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Happy Anniversary Baby

Yesterday we celebrated twelve months since Bubba stepped off the plane in the this wonderful Country. He caught the train and arrived to Quirindi, NSW in a mix of heat, nerves, anxiety, frustration, wonder, bewilderment and excitement. Bubba blogged about his arrival here all those long twelve months ago here

So much we had planned and thought would happen has changed or fallen over but at the same time things we never dreamed of, or ever saw possible for our family, have become a reality. There have been lots of doors closed that we didn't see needed to be, and others that we knew needed to be weren't sure how to do it. There have been doors opened that we have been trying to open for years but couldn't quite reach and other doors that have only been able to open once others were finally nailed shut.

It has been a long road but we are thankful for EVERY minute of it, for EVERY person who has made it possible, for EVERY bit of help we have received NO matter how big or small it was it ALL helped. We are thankful for ALL the PRAYERS and THOUGHTS that everyone has given us over the last twelve months. For every new ADVENTURE and STRUGGLE we have been through.

What a twelve months it has been and here's just a few memories....

So here is a toast from Bubba's Facebook last night:

'Well i have survived 12 months in aussie today. Its been an awesome time one of the best jobs i've done seen my kids grow alot whilst here and of course my rock of a wife who has been so strong and has held this family up. Love to you Jess. And cant forget all the great friends we have met. Roll on another 12 months.'

When I asked for the champers I was told I hadn't been here twelve months yet and I had to wait my turn. Men. Huh! 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I'm coming home NZ!

This time next week we will be on a plane on our way back to New Zealand. I have mixed feeling about this and it is hard to put into words. I have come to love our little rural New South Wales town as home and have really found a natural groove over here.
But... it's not where my heart is and as the saying goes 'home is where the heart is'.

We have made some amazing friends and met fabulous people here in Australia but nothing equals the tidal pull of your family. With some big family events and hard times also on the horizon the need to be near family strengthens more.

Talking with friends the other day about how they have decided to make the move back {after five year in this land of the lucky} makes you realise that even time doesn't numb the need for home.
We have had a reasonably hard year with my health and having no family or close family friends has been incredibly difficult. There have been plenty of days where I wished I could have had someone take the kids for a weekend, or cook us a meal, or come and do the housework.

There are so many things happening in New Zealand that we have missed. There are upcoming weddings, babies, graduations, Grandparents getting older, and the likes yet to come. Some days I wonder what we were thinking moving over here to do it all ourselves start a better life.
I have coped by being an emotional bottler. I don't let myself get worked up or lost in the emotion of loss and missing people. I don't write letters, emails, texts or make phone calls. I'm sure I come across cold and heartless but its a coping mechanism to keep myself from feeling the pain of reality.

I am looking forward to next Saturday, walking off that plane and seeing the people who I sometimes try to forget. I can feel the pain of having missed them in the comfort of their presence. I am looking forward to catching up on everything I have missed and slipping back in to the spot that I know they can't fill without me.

Look out New Zealand these five crazy ditch hoppers have had some sense knocked into them and are coming home!
Goody, Goody, Gumdrops icecream
Tip top ice creams
Eskimo Lollies
Krispie Biscuits (plain and choc coated)
ETA chips
Krispa Chicken Corn Chips
Reduced Cream Onion Dip
Cameo cremes (mint)
Griffins biscuits in general
Export Gold
And so much more...
{Hmmmm Round 4 12WBT is going to need to kick my bum! I do not need this food, I do not need this food!)

BUT Sydney we will see you again........
A week later!

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Great Scone Bake Off

Today at the kids had a mini fete at school and there was a scone bake off competition. So the kids had to help Mum , or Dad, bake some scones and send them to school. I must say I'm not a fan of scones because they are usually dry and chewy. So my mission was to find a recipe, or actually two, of good tasting non-chewy scone variety.

Quack chose sundried tomato and feta scones with herb and garlic butter

These were super tasty and super easy. I can't wait to have an excuse to make these again. I found the recipe here and they are worth the visit. If you are looking for something extra special and different too this is the answer. They rose nicely and have a wonderful soft texture and subtle flavour.

Jaybug chose the traditional jam and cream scone
For these scones I used a never fail recipe from my stash of women's weekly books. Again they were simple, moist, tasty and everything you could wish a good scone to be. They reminded me of a scone loaf which a friend had brought around for lunch one day. I couldn't believe I had managed to recreate that taste in my kitchen! Dangerous.... 
So here's the recipe (from memory which is always a sure sign they are a winner) so I know everyone can enjoy simple and tasty scones this weekend.

BUTTERMILK SCONES (worth the trip for buttermilk)
375g self raising flour
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
60g butter
300ml buttermilk

Preheat oven to 220oC and line a tray with baking paper.
Sift flour and sugar together.
Rub in butter.
Add butter milk and cut in with a knife.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
Roll dough out to 2cm thick and cut out rounds with a cookie cutter (use whatever shape you have or cut squares)
Re-rolling scraps to use all the dough.
Place scones on the tray just touching and bake for 15 minutes until golden

Serve with cream and jam
We also added fresh strawberries and sandwiched them with a sprinkle of icing sugar on top!

NB - we didn't win the bake off but we definitely have some winning recipes by my standards and I have no idea what was wrong with the judges!

Monday, November 5, 2012


Today I struggle with the never ending cycle of MCS {Multiple Chemical Sensitivity}.
Today I feel like an unadequate mother, unable to drag myself from the couch.
Today I wonder what a life without MCS would feel like.

Today my head thumps like a constant drum.
Today my brain refuses to function to its normal capacity.
Today I feel like I am wrapped in a fog.

Today I wonder whether a normal life is possible again.
Today I think of all that has changed lately.
Today I don't know who this person inside my shell is.

Today I am grumpy and on edge.
Today I am so tired it is an effort to breathe.
Today I know I am someone different to twelve months ago.

Today I wonder if I will push anyone else away.
Today I wish I had the words to explain.
Today I know there will be a tomorrow,
And there is hope tomorrow is better than today.

I know MCS had changed who I am, how I think, speak, act and react, and operate.
There are things I have done and said that are a complete breakdown of brain function at times.
I am grateful for friends and family who have seen the effects of this and have stuck by with understanding and compassion.

The way I would graphically try to explain MCS

Friday, November 2, 2012

Project Life - the arrival

As I posted about here on Sunday, I have been drawn like a moth to a flame. 2013 is going to be the year I capture and remember every piece of. The more I look for ideas and inspiration the more I can't believe I haven't done this before. I am very excited to say my kit has arrived {jumping up and down screaming like a teenage girl at a one direction concert kind of excited!}

Luckily the amazing team over at Crafthouse heard the prayers of Emily for hers to arrive on the same day as mine, even though they were ordered two days apart. This meant a playdate, even on a school night!

It was like Christmas without all the food!

So what have I ordered for 2013? {my links are for Australian customers but there is also the option for New Zealand customers too, other countries need to look here}

There is also an easy way to order and that is to order a starter kit in a chosen collection, which includes:
  • 60 pack of A page protectors
  • 12x12 Binder
  • Core kit
From here you can add extra's from the accessories tab. It was personal preference for me not to do this as I didn't like the Cobalt Edition binder so instead I ordered the Clemintine binder and everything else is Cobalt.

This years range is pretty impressive with the addition of the Baby kits in His, Hers and neutral. There is also two new releases, Olive and Seafoam, which look gorgeous. My personal L.O.V.E is Olive but I wondered about how it would work with 3 males in our house and also its still on pre-order, due in December, and I'm too impatient to have to wait. Maybe next time?

Here is a few photo's of bits and pieces in my kit - Cobalt Edition

I am so looking forward to sitting down and doing my set up and blogging along with it so that I can hopefully inspire so others to join in this great Project Life Adventure for 2013.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Project Life 2013

I have finally been convinced, arm twisted, and fallen in love with a style enough, to Project Life 2013. deep breath, long sentence...

Thanks to Emily. {you need to give me your blog address}

Emily has recently moved from Queensland to our little country life here. We met through the facebook page for our 12WBT here in NSW and have been training together when we can. Emily and I have hit it off like oxygen and fire. We have so many similar interests its a little scary. I find Emily to be an amazing inspiration and support in both her 12wbt transformation but also in her outlook in life. I have really fallen in love with her style of Project Life and we have sat and played and tried ideas for how it will work for me. So our 2013 kits are currently making their way from Crafthouse and I am eagerly waiting for it to arrive so we can start setting up and planning.

Emily is a true planner after my own heart. I know this is where I have been a little worried about getting into Project life in the past. I like to be organised, make lists, have a plan and have worked out every possible fall down before I commit. The way I have watched it fall over and fail for others has not given me the faith to jump in and make the purchase.
I know this coming year will be my year to Project Life - with lots of things planned to happen for 2013 - and with Emily's help, and willingness to sit and listen to my crazy ideas, I know we will both find a way to work together on our individual styles for Project Life.

With a couple of months out to January 1st 2013 maybe someone else wants to join our crazy planning group?? Whose arm might I twist I wonder? I look forward to following you if you decide to PL-2013 along and will be madly using my pintrest for ideas.

What is Project Life? Its a brainchild of Becky Higgins in an attempt to get people back into simple scrapbooking.

 You can find out more info here
Ordering for Australia and New Zealand is available here

Saturday, October 27, 2012

I don't mind if you get a little green eyed

So it's been awhile and lots has happened. We have had parents times two visit, school holidays, my cousin from Perth, and weeks of continuing to follow the 12wbt plan. Lately I've had a few run-ins with my good friend MCS and have suffered migraines, tiredness, new medications, and mood swings, thanks MCS for being so darn awesome...

But there have also been a few BIG milestones in the last week.

Bubba and I celebrated our six year wedding anniversary last Sunday. A few years ago the diamond fell out of my engagement ring and we have always talked about replacing it but haven't gotten around to it. But recently I had an epiphany that engagement rings don't have to equally diamonds. I have a few friends with some pretty awesome engagement rings with out being the perceived regular diamond ring.
So I told Bubba of this revelation and the way I felt emeralds caught my personality a little more than the diamond I had tried to fit. And tada what would appear but this

As I started to blog a few weeks ago I have been following the Michelle Bridges 12WBT and although I have had a crazy few week, hmmm like 6 weeks to be exact, I have contined to follow the program. It's been a slower path than I expected in the start but I now see the reality is hard work and slow progress for sustainability. But I can proud say I've lost just over 5kg since I started! I'm warning you to look away now if your not game to see underwear shots but this is the reality of my journey. Nine weeks of working my butt off has not made me look like a supermodel and I doubt that another nine years would!

Even more exciting is finally fitting this dress that I was given. It was inches too small in the waist area and far beyond doing up when I was given it in July this year. But this morning it is zipped! 
I would still get some breathing comfort from another few inches so this is my next goal...

I have also found the inspiration to finally get my craft makings out to the world. I have finally found a name and I am working on a design at the moment. So watch this space for the launch of my online selling presence!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Week 3 - 12 week body transformation

Week three is here which means I am 1/4 of the way through this twelve week commitment. I think I am getting to the stage where I am having to push myself a little harder. Old habits start to creep in but I am determined to pick myself up again when I fall. (NZ Toffee pops you are so good but I think our love affair has to end!)

We had a friends party on the weekend and I am waiting to see the results tomorrow. I now see once you have got your eating to a healthy place how much it hurts, even just that one day, to relax too much. I also know that I own all the choices I made on Saturday and it is a very valuable lesson to have learned this early on. Basically for my health and energy levels it just isn't worth even that one day off. Other people may find that they can and have no effect but for me I think my body needs this lifestyle, to be whole and heal as part of the Multiple Chemical Sensitivity journey.

I have really struggled with tiredness these last few mornings so I am reminded at the end of my workout to give myself a pat on the back. I know that some days I just have to get up as soon as the alarm goes to not give my body or brain time to realise what is going on. I know that I can push through this and I am choosing health and fitness over tiredness and slump.

I am still totally loving the food. This week includes lasagne and pizza. Two of my favourite foods! I am excited to see how to make a smarter choice but still enjoy family favourites. Lasagne last night was a HUGE hit with Quack declaring it his new all time favourite this morning. The leftovers are happily at work in Bubbas cooler bag - so can't be too bad folks!
We have found with a with minor tweeks here and there that the whole family is eating, and for the most part, enjoying the evening meals. Weekend breakfasts have been a hit in our house too with all the favourites in a lighter and/or more enjoyable way.

I do see this as a lifestyle change. Michelle is teaching me tools for life. Whether it be her workout prescriptions, nutritional plans or her mindset teachings. I feel better in myself and empowered to know I am making small changes that are sustainable in the long term. I'm not cutting our food groups or training eight hours a day. This is able to work for my life and my family and I think most people would find it is easier than you realise.

The number one point is YOU have to be ready and want this. If you're not you will find a million excuses throughout the twelve weeks to not eat right and not exercise. I still stumble and trip but the main thing is I am determined to not stay down but to get up again. Found this on pintrest this morning and it will be my mantra for this week.

So after an extremely hard week in life, fitness, health and friendships I will get up again and I will carry on. WWW here I come and whatever number you show me I will own it and I will get on with it. Moving towards my goal is one step at a time.

Monday, September 3, 2012

12 Week Body Transformation - week 2

Yay! I made it! Its week two and I am ready to hit the ground running. The exercise is good ( even if at the time it doesn't feel nice or look pretty) and the food is YUM!!

I had banana, cottage cheese and cinnamon on toast for breakfast - thought it was a bit weird sounding but is surprisingly delicious. A wrap coming up for lunch and Pumpkin soup for dinner. I'm sure I'm eating more than I used to and feeling my body thank me.

Monday morning never felt so good. I am looking forward to Wednesday, not for the number but to see the rewards of my hard work.

I found these two today and think it sums it up quite nicely:

So I will continue to eat myself well, eat more energy and exercise my body fit.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wake Wee Weigh Wednesday

So its only been 3 days on the 12WBT challenge and today we have our first weigh in. I have managed to lose 500gm. I was a little upset to begin with but after so tough love and wise words of friends and family I have realised that my journey isn't anyone elses, and therefore we wont have the same results.

So how am I finding it?


I love the program.
  • It takes the hassle out of having to sit down and work out good meals and the calories that they have.
  • The exercise plan seemed a LOT with 6 days but I am finding getting up earlier to work out leaves me in a much better place for my day.
  • I have a WHOLE bunch of support. Everyone is here doing it together and there is lots of encouragement and people to bounce ideas and questions off.
  • The food is LIFETIME-able. The nutrition plan does NOT cut out food groups. I am eating so much more than I used to but so much better than I ever have.
  • The program will give you what you put into it. There are preseason tasks which even in the first days have been my power. I know what I WANT. I know MY GOALS. And most importantly I know my EXCUSES.
So here is to a strong finish to a good first week. As Michelle said on her video link tonight its sometimes about reaching in and unleashing your inner mongrel and my favourite:

"It doesn't have to be perfect, it doesn't even have to be pretty. You just have to get it done!"

Friday, August 24, 2012

Life must change

After a few months of up and downs I am back.

Here are a few catch ups and a few newies.

My laptop has been helped by Squeak, as in it wont log on any more. So its mobile or borrowed of current.

My health is frustrating. Multiple chemical sensitivity is going to be a long journey of finding how to get well and protect myself in our broken environment.

After migrain medication has not helped my specialist has taken me off it 6kg heavier.

The meds have contributed to my weight but I also havent looked after myself in the exercise department as I had been wallowing in my oh woe MCS me.

My eating and exercise habits have to change (enter Michelle Bridges 12WBT).

I have signed up for the next round of the 12 week body transformation challenge. I know some friends have done this current round with great results.

I am looking for a lifestyle chance not a quick fix. So Monday 27 August marks day one of my next twelve weeks of the rest of my life.

I will document the twelve week changelle and review the program here as well as other bits of life that creep in too.

Looking forward to hearing all my lovely dedicated followers cheer me on and hoping to make some new friends along the way.

here is more info on the 12 week body transformation program. You can also find it on Facebook and twitter too.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Farm

A few weeks ago we left our five bedroom, 3 bathroom, study and two living spaces to move to a 3 bedroom house.
Why? Because:
  1. The landlords put the house on the market without us being notified until months later when first we saw it advertised and then second a for sale sign was banged out front.
  2. The house was in need of some TLC and the landlords weren't prepared to come and do it. Whether they were too busy or it wasn't a priority I'm not sure but it didn't help us.
  3. It was cold! Seriously it was colder inside than it was outside. Great in summer, not great in winter.
  4. My health has been under some serious testing these last few months. Constant migraines and absolutely no energy are just the tip of the symptom iceberg and I just couldn't cope with up keeping a house of the size any more.
So we have down sized and country lifestyles instead. We now have a far more manageable house size and around 3 acres of land - which is so in my dream world of sheep, chickens, pigs, cows, ducks, dogs etc, etc.

I am totally smitten by peace and quite and fresh air. I said to Bubba the other day that life is just to great here to go back to city. I actually don't think I could handle it anymore. I was so made and designed for the country lifestyle. I can't wait to get our animals and gardens happening and enjoy the fruit of our hard work out here.

I have been through numerous tests and am ongoing multiple testing for my health at the moment. I have had upteen blood tests to test for everything under the sun and have started down the path of CT and MRI scans to rule out, or find, anything that is affecting my brain.

My CT came back clear which is a relief but my doctor is amazing and is doing everything he can to get to the bottom of my health concerns so that I can get back to enjoying a normal life. I am still awaiting my MRI results as I have only just been to the John Hunter hospital to have these done.

It is so nice to sit out in the sun and enjoy our new views as I try and escape what has become my normal for now. I try to do every day with as much smile and as much energy as my body will permit me as there is no point sitting around crying and feeling sorry for myself.

Most people wont even know the load I deal with daily as I'm not one to moan about my circumstances when I know there are others out there dealing with their own stuff and often much more.

The rural church that is in front of our property.

We are blessed with an abundance of fruit trees at the farm. We have oranges, lemons, limes, apple, apricots, grapes and passionfruit that I can so far identify. We are looking forward to getting our own vegetable and herb gardens up and running and enjoying the freshness of home grown.

Another biggy that I am trying out at the farm is to eliminate as many chemicals from our lives as possible. One of the reasons I am having so many tests right now is to rule out any serious illness or life threaten diseases before we move onto the path of environmental.

After doing a lot of research, thanks to a good friend over here who dealt with very similar symptoms and lack of enjoyable life, we are looking at a possibility of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity which will usually lead to Chronic Fatigue. There is a very good reason to believe that all the hype around the Paritutu Dioxin Dump in New Plymouth, New Zealand, is a little more true than the so called "government research" would say ( You can read more here and here to get a better picture). This would account for a Mutliple Chemical Sensitivity and why I never had migraines, among other symptoms, until the last three to four years when I moved into a property in this area.

We are very glad to have found somewhere that we can be chemical free and have found an amazing doctor who is open to working with an environment specialist to work through this, providing that the can't find any other medical reason for my symptoms.

So for now we will keep working on why I have the symptoms I do and hope to get to the bottom of it but we are doing everything in our power to try and eliminate the stress that my mind and body are under.
So welcome to our farm and we hope to be a little more chemical free and self sufficient everyday that we are learning more about how to go about it.