Thready Thursday: Cowl

Posted January 16th, 2014 by CreativeMishMash

I joined in the community ‘Holiday Wishes’ over on livejournal 2 years ago. I didn’t do too much the first year but last year I offered people some home made items because I can crochet now.

I love it so much!

So, here is one of the gifts I’m sending out. A cowl that also doubles as a hood. I love this colour and I think I might make myself something from it one day. After I get through my long list of things to make.

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I am just so chuffed that it only took me 2 days, 0r more accurately 2 1/2 movies to make. This year I’m going to get myself sorted ahead of time and have lots of things ready to go. Scarves are quick and easy now I know more than one stitch. I think afghan’s will be for special people as those things would be heavy to post. Scarves, beanies and fingerless mitts. I need more practice with beanies. I keep making them a lot smaller than I intend to.

It’s so good to have a hook in my hands again. I’m sad that Karen never got to see how awesome this cowl turned out. I hope the person I send it to will love it as much as I do.

Wordless Wednesday

Posted January 15th, 2014 by CreativeMishMash

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Motivated Monday: Karen’s gone

Posted January 13th, 2014 by CreativeMishMash

I lost a very dear friend on Christmas Day. We’d been friends ever since we met via the Buffy community and realised we lived in the same town. So, about 13 years ago I met Karen. I thank the universe every day for sending her to me. I have been through some rough patches in the past thirteen years and Karen was always there in my corner cheering me on.

It’s hard to think that she won’t be here any more. I won’t get the phone calls checking in and making sure I’m okay. One of the last times I spoke to her was when I’d just found out that she wouldn’t be coming out of respite. I’d seen her just the week before and she looked so tired and worn out. I didn’t think it would be much longer but thinking it and accepting it are two very different things.

She took me to Japan in April 2013 and I will treasure those memories every day for the rest of my life. She was such an amazing person and such a prolific writer back in the day. She had almost finished the regency novel she was writing when they took her off the chemo trial she was on. That trial gave her an extra 2 years. Her diagnosis was for 12 months – and she lived an extra 2 years.

So, another dear friend and I are going to finish the book and see about getting it published.

I was going through my old emails and I found one from her when I sent her the finished first draft of my dragon book. I cried. I cried so hard. But, it made me get off my arse and start writing again. I felt like she was reaching out from the other side to tell me get on with it. I am so happy that she got to see the finished first draft and the beginning of the second. I know that she loved the changes I made. I just wish that I had finished it before she passed. Time and space mean nothing to her now so she’s probably already read the finished novel. I am going to finish it and I am going to dedicate it to her because she dedicated so much of her love and time to other people.

I didn’t just lose a cheerleader on Christmas Day, I lost one of the best friends I’ve ever had. We had our ups and downs over the years but we always talked it out. (She didn’t give me a choice lol.) I think that made us stronger.

I was there when she made the decision to buy the DSLR and she loved it. I don’t think it was out of her hands until the day she went into respite which turned into palliative care. She was so surprised that it was costing $500 less than she expected to spend that she ended up buying me a go pro hero 2.

This year, I am going to make her proud. I am going to go and join the photography club down the road. I am going to finish my novel and I am going to get myself on the right track.

Oh, I also got into the Auslan (Australian sign language) course at TAFE with my legally blind friend this year. As she said, even if she can’t see she can still hear and do one way translation. I am thinking about going back to complete my masters but I think that can wait while I get the rest of this sorted out. I’ve always wanted to study sign language but never really had the chance. I’m just so happy to have a friend who’s going to do it with me – meaning that we’ll both have someone to practice with. I might start out checking on YouTube.

Remember how much Karen believed in me makes me motivated to do well and make her proud of me. I’ll always miss you, my wonderful wonderful friend.

Weight Loss Weekend – Ignoring Temptation

Posted November 23rd, 2013 by CreativeMishMash

It’s been a hard week, but it’s getting better.

I am making a commitment this week to get into doing the workout sessions. I have to find my heart rate monitor or think about buying a new one. I just bought the fitbit aria scale so I’m reluctant to spend more money. Who pays $160 for a scale? I was lucky and it was on sale for $142 – but I have to remember this is my health I’m setting myself up for. I gained because I didn’t have a scale around to scare me back down the other way again.

I am going over to Katt’s tonight to make her dinner. The mushroom sauce on 12wbt is the best thing I think I have ever tasted. Seriously – it was almost worth the $200 just for that.

I’ve tried a few new things this week. I’ve discovered things that I thought would be boring are out of this world tasty. I’ve even started eating lentils – now for years I have hated lentils as they made me gag. Now? I know they’re good for me so I pop them in and don’t even notice them. I decided to be true to the recipe for the butter chicken and add them. It didn’t subtract anything at all.

I now know that I need to double or triple the portions, and buy a few containers so I can make a huge amount and freeze them for those days when it’s so hard to not want to just give in to temptation.

I had two big win moments for me this week. Well, 3 if you count the weigh in day when I’d lost weight. Of course I couldn’t resist weighing in again a couple of days later despite telling myself no no no. I’d gained. But, I believe it’s normal to go up and down a kg a day. I was weighing in at a completely different time.

Anyhow, the first big win moment was yesterday when I popped into the IGA looking for haloumi. I walked down the chip aisle (it’s half chip and half something else) and saw they had atomic tomato samboys. My favourite – and so damn hard to get anywhere. Before the thought of picking them up could even half form in my head I said “No.” turned around and walked out of there. A few weeks ago I wouldn’t have been able to do that.

Then, later after I dropped the others off on the way home from D&D the urge to hit the Golden Arches drivethru hit me. I kept telling myself now but I could feel myself wavering. I reminded myself I can have a treat meal on Sunday. (Although I think I might change it to Saturdays to keep in line with everyone else on the program.) I turned the first corner that takes me home and away from the golden light. I kept saying to myself it’s okay you can turn at the next corner and when I got there… no at the next corner. Then I started telling myself that the food tastes awful – and I know this. I’ve eaten enough maccas to last about 5 life times. And, it’s not going to be worth setting myself back so far when I’m doing so well. Before I knew it I was in my driveway and shutting the gates.

I did go out with a friend – something I had been planning on for months and months. I decided I was going to splurge then and when I got home I was going to work my arse off. I have to get into the I work out mentality. But, I think I need my bro to take the dog out in the morning and I get up and do the workout routines – that way when I’m on the floor there is no dog going HELLO KISSES TIME!

I cannot believe I am struggling to be able to actually reach the 1200 calories a day. There is so much food that I generally don’t want to snack but I need to to not put myself in starvation mode. Banana Smoothies are my friend! I should actually find out how many calories I am drinking in them as I don’t put the museli or yoghurt in. But, perhaps I should give it a try once to see how it is.

I am off to cook dinner for Katt and enjoy that lovely lovely mushroom sauce again. I hope everyone else is doing well on their journey.

Fiction Friday: Hunger Games Catching Fire Review

Posted November 23rd, 2013 by CreativeMishMash

After months of looking forward to it Catching Fire was released yesterday.

A friend and I decided to splurge out. We went to Gold Class. (SWANKY!) I love the seats. It’s like sitting in a big fluffy cloud. There’s only about 20 seats in the cinema so you’re all spread out in groups of 2. We went in and ordered a devonshire tea which was lovely. I had one scone, she had a scone and the tea. I had a hot chocolate – and I won’t be doing that again. It was so rich. I think it was made of melted lindt chocolate.

The previews started and I reclined my chair back feeling like I was in my own personal home cinema with servants. It was great!

Then the movie started. I loved it. Once again Suzanne Collins was an executive producer so she had a hand in what was on the screen. I imagine she approved the script before it all went ahead. It’s great it stayed close to the book but they did change some things for the movie but it was just little things. So little I can’t even remember what now.

They dealt with everything up until the… reveal in the book. I don’t want to say too much in case people haven’t read it yet. It was good going in watching it not having read the book for a while as it did keep me guessing as I couldn’t remember what was going on. I did hear they’d split it in two but I wouldn’t be surprised if they just put the rest of it into “MockingJay”. I could see that happening. I hope Suzanne will be involved in the next one as well.

It really inspired me to get cracking with my own work. The cinematography was beautiful. Breath taking even. I did spend sometime thinking about how they took the shot, or if that was real or CGI. But, that’s par for the course when you’ve just worked on a short film. It took me a while to be able to watch movies again without most of my thoughts going to the mechanics behind the shot. I spend a lot of time thinking “Poor Art Department” when watching films now. I think having just shot “The Gathering.” on Saturday such stuff was on my mind again. But, it also gives me a greater appreciation because I know just how much work goes into it. How much waiting around for the actors.

I laughed at some bits, and I cried at others. Lynn Cohen was amazing as Mags. She just captured the character so well that I could just feel the emotions her character must  have been going through.

Jenn was amazing as Katniss once again. Josh as Peeta. But, Liam just seemed so much older than both of them in this movie. I guess that could be explained away as he’s been working in the mines now and that does age people quicker than anything. Hard life with little food and 18 hours a day down a mine.

I guess in a way Peeta and Katniss do have it easier as they’ve got their ‘winnings’ from the games. So, they don’t have the harsh reality of what is District 12 as an adult. It was interesting too seeing how all the other victors dealt with their win. I was a bit disappointed they left out them watching the videos of all other victors but it probably wouldn’t have added to the plot and it would have cost a lot more to film. Still, if we’ve read the book we know how it happened.

So, I’ll give Catching Fire 4/5 stars.

Next time you see a movie as visually stunning as Catching Fire spare a thought for the art department who worked so hard to get all the props right. And, everyone else behind the scenes too – it’s just art department make and source all of the props. Spare a thought for the production crew too – they’re the ones there earlier than everyone else, making sure everyone is comfortable and the last ones to leave as they clean up the mess. It takes a huge team to bring you something as beautiful as Catching Fire.

And finally, a thank you to Suzanne Collins for writing a book that captured the imaginations of not just young adults as she intended but older ones as well. I hope that it will help wake us up and make sure we never go down such a path that would lead us to the Hunger Games.

Thready Thursday – Christmas Time

Posted November 21st, 2013 by CreativeMishMash

On LJ I’m part of the Holiday Wishes community. A few people wanted crochet or hand made stuff so I’ve stuck my hand up and volunteered. So I’ve got a couple of scarfs, some beanies, a cowl and a couple of other things to do.

It’s good though I’m enjoying it. A lot to do. I’m also working on 2 knee rugs at the moment. I am having trouble with my turns though so I’m going to have to look into what I’m doing wrong there so I can get things even instead of decreasing. I know it’s got to do with the amount of chains and then which chain I go into when I turn it.

I might get Katt to watch what I’m doing. I’m heading over to her place on Sat night to have a bath (WOO. I miss having easy access to one.) and have a movie night. We’re going to watch Dragonheart and I’m going to work on the stuff I’m making for Eli and her girls. Katt smokes and Eli smokes so it will work out fine. I don’t like to work on stuff that I’m making for nonsmokers (like me) in a smoking environment. You never know how bad a reaction people will have to stuff. So I figure the easiest thing to do is work on things for smokers at her place and stuff for non smokers at home.

I’m looking forward to having made this stuff – it’s always great to get to the end of something and see how it worked out. I always wonder in the beginning if I am doing things right or is it going to end up completely buggered? Generally it’s turned out alright.

I shall take pics of the projects as I make them. I do upload them to ravelry but it would be good to have a record on the blog too.

Right time for bed, aiming for being up at 530. Although, I might take tomorrow morning off as I’m meeting a friend later in the day for a walk.

 

Weightloss Weekends – A new beginning

Posted November 17th, 2013 by CreativeMishMash

I have been big all my life – I’ve got Polycystic ovary syndrome which comes with a side of insulin resistance so that hasn’t helped matters.

But somewhere along the way I stopped caring about my health. It felt like well if I can spend 3 months going to the gym at least an hour a day for 3 months and not drop one ounce while my friend who was going with me dropped 10 then what’s the point.

But a part of me always remembered dropping the 26kg when I wasn’t even noticing back when I lived in Japan. I remember the look on the face of a friend I hadn’t seen in a few months when I walked in the room. Her jaw literally dropped as she just started at me.

I’d ballooned up to 116kg when I was in an abusive relationship and leaving him to go to Japan … I just dropped the weight. I had to walk at least 20 minutes almost every day as I lived at least a 10 min walk from the train station. Work was only about a 1-2 min walk away from the station at the other end. I did a lot. I hiked a bit, I visited new places but not as much as I should have. I wasted a lot of time in a rut when I was over there. But, I dropped the weight and didn’t even really notice. I had no scales just knew my clothes were huge but I was still way too big to buy clothes in Japan. I got home and I weighed 90kg. But I could not get over that 90 hump – and so I gave up.

I yoyoed between 100-110 for about 10 years then I moved in with a friend who’d lost her partner and took care of her for 2 years. Until circumstances brought me home. Dad was hit by a car and needed more care than just Mum and my brother could provide for him. Living with Mel caused a lot of stress. Not through her – apart from the smoking. But it’s her home and just a place I was living to me. I knew it wouldn’t be long term. I just wanted to help her get through the roughest part and boy did it get rough. Her phone company continued to send stuff addressed to her partner, and ask to talk to him when I called to sort various things out for TWO YEARS after his death. It took me 18 months of being promised it would never happen again before a CSR agreed with me that yes it would happen again. (This is 9 packages later and at least 3 phone calls. At one stage I was on the phone to them every day for a week. There was this and then the modem issue – that piece of crap needed to be rebooted every few hours. FINALLY after my 15th call they put me through to teir 3 support and sent out a different model. Oh look at that.. no more problems!) So – looking back I can see how I ballooned up to 125kg. It’s horrifying.

If I hit 110 I used to freak and I’d be on my way back down again. I was so depressed during this period, and I think it’s really only been the past few weeks that I’ve started to shake it off, that I watched the scale go up and up and just wasn’t motivated enough to care. This year I decided I do NOT want to be this size when I’m 40. It’s a month until my 39th birthday. That gives me 14 months to get in shape.

A few months ago I decided to try the C25k program. I got through week 1 fine but week 2 just seemed to put too much pressure on my right knee. I’m still having issues. I decided that I need to get some weight off before I try again. The funniest thing happened – I fell in love with running and it’s killing me that I can’t do it. I was getting up at 530-6 every day and going up to the local park to run before anyone was around to laugh at the fat girl. I bought a treadmill first and started on that but people were really encouraging online (thanks reddit runners!) and I decided to give outside a try. I didn’t get far and I didn’t go fast but there was just something about moving that really got to me.

I am seeing my doc next week and I’m going to see about getting the 5 free physio visits I can get and ask her what weight I’m going to have to get down to before I can get back to it again. I have registered for the Santa Fun Run on Dec 1st and I would love it if you could show me support by either donating (it’s for the variety club – a great chartity) even just $2 will help! Or passing the link around – or even coming and joining in with me on the day! You can donate or read more about it at my Santa Fun Run Page.

For the past month or so I’ve been toying with joining something to get me to be accountable. I was leaning towards weight watchers because I know it’s working for other friends. But, it just didn’t feel right. So I started talking to my ex boss (we both left the company years ago but stayed friends) about it. She was saying how she’d done the Michelle Bridges 12wbt and loved it. Another friend had done it with her partner as well so I asked her about it. She loved it. I started doing some research – and talked some more to Jo about it.

I then looked into the price and my jaw dropped. I thought it was going to be $600 and completely out of my reach at the moment. (I’m on a carers pension for looking after Dad.) It’s only $200 or $20 a week. Less than joining a gym – comes complete with workouts and teaches you how to cook the food. So you learn how to live a healthier lifestyle.

I have to say I don’t think I’d be doing as well if it wasn’t for Jo – who I check in with every day. I’ve taken to calling her coach as I report in the highs and lows of my journey. It’s been a week now and the worst of the headaches are gone. I think going from pretty much frozen/junk/bad food to healthy vibrant fresh food put me into a sort of withdrawal. But, I’m doing a lot better than I was.

I took my before shot – which I may post later. I’m not ready for that sort of scrutiny by strangers on the internet (or people I know!) yet. I have this tshirt I won years ago – it was for Signs – so that shows you how long I’ve had it. I fitted into it once for a while and then went up again. So, I’m wearing that and a pair of shorts as my sfw before shot. I’ll take that every Wednesday on weigh in day now. It will be interesting when I get to the end of this 12 weeks to see how they are fitting.

So, I have to thank Jo for being there with me on this journey and still supporting me even years after we left that workplace! She is awesome and I hope you all have  Coach Jo in your life.

I made another friend a couple of months ago – also called Jo- who has decided to come walking with me at an ungodly hour of the morning with me once a week. I’m taking Flame out every day but Saturday. Flame is loving it and training comes up in January. I told Lee I was going to walk Flame down to the training and then hitch a lift back with her and Yogi. As my time improves I may end up just walking both ways. We shall see. I don’t want to over do it.

So, we needed to set 3 goals. 2 mini goals and one big one. My first is the fun run – doing the 5k walk on Dec 1. My 2nd will be a 8-10k hike that coach Jo is going to organise (thanks Jo!) with a bunch of other 12wbters. My 3rd one is going to be hike Wilpena Pound with my camera. I love the Flinders Rangers and I’ve always been sad knowing I’m not going to be able to make the whole 23k trek. Yikes. I didn’t realise it was 23k. Good huge goal I’ve sent for myself there!

The support on the boards is amazing and from within my friends too. I really don’t feel like I’m alone on this journey although I know I am the only one who can take this journey. It’s taken me a long time to get here and I’m hoping it will only take me around 12 months to get to where I want to be – and when I get there? I am heading off to get my scuba diving license. Something I have dreamed of since I was 12.

Oh, and I want to buy a sea kayak. It came as a shocking realisation to me a couple of years ago that the things I love to do are active. But, I’ve let my weight hold me back – not any more. I’m giving myself mini rewards for each milestone – but the greatest reward of all is going to be when I head over to Britain/Scandinavia in 2015 and give Taggie a run for her money. We meet up every 5 years or so and do a road trip. Every time I am subjected to what I call “Taggie’s bootcamp.” and next time – I’m going to keep up!

It’s actually quite scary putting all this in public with the whole what if I don’t make it tapes running around in my head. I must smash them and perhaps go read my favourite golden book of all time when I was a kid “I think I can I think I can” and before you know it the train is over the hill and wooshing down the other side.

So, I’ve decided that the weekends on the blog will be dedicated to weight loss. I am also thinking about doing a vlog but that’s something I’ll ask my editor friend to help me out with once I have a few ready to go. I’m still not sure I’m ready for that commitment yet but I know it would be a great motivator for someone down the line. It’s not impossible. You just have to be ready and boy am I ready this time.

Bring it on!

Motivation – 12WBT

Posted November 11th, 2013 by CreativeMishMash

I signed up for the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation.

Round 4 for the year, which I’m in, started today. I decided to take Flame for a walk yesterday down to the library and back. Googlemaps told me it was only 2k so I thought oh that won’t take me too long around an hour round trip.

It ended up taking 2 hours and took us on a 6km journey. I felt so good when I got home that I’d actually managed to achieve that. I’ve signed up for the Santa Fun Run in December and was wondering if I’d actually be able to pull it off. Now, I know I can. I might be slow – and hell I might even be the last one over the finish line. It’s happened before.

We used to have to do a 3000 foot race to see which PE group we would end up in at high school. I lagged behind… my friend didn’t bother to finish she just sat down and said I’m done. I kept going and although I was the last one there I felt like I’d achieved something.

Flame really is a big part of my motivation. I want her to have a happy and healthy life. I’m also planning on taking another overseas trip in a couple of years. I would  love to be able to just take on challenges and not be thinking about my size.

I’m looking forward to getting back into double digits again. I’m sure once I’ve started to actively lose I’ll be happy to post how much I weigh right now but at the moment… it’s way more than I should. Poor life choices really – and now I’m starting to make good ones. I’m looking forward to next weeks weigh in. It should make a little more sense than the one I had today. (Having some issues with the scales.)

So, Mish’s programme is getting me motivated and the support structure that comes with it. I am happy to be at the beginning of this journey.

Wordless Wednesday

Posted October 2nd, 2013 by CreativeMishMash

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Wordless Wednesday

Posted September 25th, 2013 by CreativeMishMash

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