I can see there from here..

A few weeks ago, I had to go to an appointment about 40km away. This was the first time I’d been out by myself on the roads driving a decent distance in a while.

3 separate times, I saw vehicles in front of me cross to the wrong side of the road, while they were busy doing something.. I could see they were texting or reading something on their mobile phone.

And my car horn is like the horn from a clown car. Nobody takes my beeps seriously. In fact I don’t even think they hear them, it never seems like anyone does. I asked the other half to install me a more serious horn, because these people need a wake up, when they are doing this. If there were cars coming the other way, they could kill someone, even themselves!

There was a time recently, after watching one too many episodes of Crash Investigation Unit, that I found myself sitting in the car, at the end of the driveway, unable to leave the driveway because if I went X way, then Y could happen, and if I went A way, then B could happen. No way seemed safe, and my mind was screaming at me.. don’t go anywhere, put the car away, it is too dangerous on the roads.

And then rational me said err, no, lets’s get going, I have to live life. I need to buy stuff, like chocolate and icecream. I can’t become a hermit and just order my groceries on the internet and never leave home again. But I could see there from where I was. And part of me wanted to do exactly that – become a hermit, stay home where it is safe.

I mean, I could easily do that, Coles and Woolies home deliver here now. But if I let those fears take over, then there will be no end to it. What will be, will be. If I get taken out by an unlicensed idiot driving while texting, I’ll be pissed, sure. And I’ll haunt that person foreverz, because seriously your text couldn’t wait, you couldn’t pull over?


Beige Fitflops


You may recall the previous Fitflops post – Fitflops from Hawaii.


I got the Beige pair on our last full day on Oahu from Nordstrom. I had gone there because they were having a sale, and I wanted to see if they had the Aquatalia Rhumba boots that Kate Middleton once levitated in whilst playing hockey.


I’d had a previous almost bought them experience with the Aquatalia Rhumba, when I searched Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th Outlet Store at Waikele and found a pair hiding on the floor. YES I inwardly screamed, only to pick the box up and find they were a size 7. So, I longingly caressed them, and put them back.


Anyway, there were no Aquatalia shoes at Nordstrom, but I did spot these beige fitflops. By this time, I’d worn the black ones most evenings to stroll about and I knew they were extremely comfortable shoes, and they were on sale, so bonus! I bought them.


As you can see, they still have a tag on them. They have not been worn yet. I’m saving them for this summer. :)

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Quirky Snoskred

Tell us about a quirk or odd habit that you have.


Many of my best one liners are courtesy of NYPD Blue. The one I use the most was from the first season with Jimmy Smits, where they had a “skell” in the room and they said something to him, and he yells “I decline that”.

I took this to work by simply adding the word “respectfully” in there. I was respectfully declining all kinds of shiznit. Nobody minded, because of the respectful aspect. I even used it on the phones with callers, on one occasion with great success to a prank caller who wanted me to.. well, things I wanted to decline with great prejudice, and possibly to decline with my fists, if such wants had been requested to my face.

No became a word rarely used. And to be honest, I liked declining a lot more than just no. Why use one word when you can use three or four? It fit in with my quirky, Aspergers nature. And with my friends, it was an in joke, as well. :)

I’m like a virus, my words are contagious, they don’t just stay with me, they go places with people. I heard someone respectfully decline that at the supermarket – someone I never met myself, but someone I know is a friend of a friend. And that was kinda cool.


One Year Later

I have not mentioned it here before, but last November after we got home from our amazing and wonderful Hawaii trip, I had a very large Pulmonary Embolism which could easily have killed me.

After we got home I felt like I had a flu, I couldn’t catch my breath. But I didn’t have any of the other symptoms you get with flu. My doctor suspected PE and sent me for a V/Q lung scan and in doing so he saved my life.


They put me in hospital for 24 hours – they wanted to keep me for many days to monitor me but I refused because the other half can nurse me better than anyone else can, we have an oxygen monitor right here at home, they needed the bed for much sicker people than me, and I wanted to be with my cats because a cat purring on you is the best medicine anyone can have.

So, they sent me home with some hospital charts that the other half could keep all his observations of me on, and I had the longest shower ever. Ick. I am a germophobe, so not a big fan of hospitals at all. I was back at work the next day, o2 monitor attached set to alarm if my blood oxygen went below 90.

In speaking with the doctors I know exactly when the clot formed – probably 3-4 hours into the flight home, one of my legs went to sleep and when I got up to try and wake it up, there was this pain in the back of my thigh. It felt like a muscle cramp, so I asked the other half to pummel and massage that spot a little – and he did. This may have been an excellent thing breaking up the clot into smaller pieces. It might have actually saved my life.

The doctors put me on a wonderful new-ish medication called Rivaroxaban which is the alternative to Wharfarin and does not require constant blood tests and monitoring. Anyway, enough about that – all this just to say I have been getting some tests done to try and determine why this happened, and if it is likely to happen again, and so I can get off the medication and be cleared to snorkel this summer. ;)


Photography Box


A while ago I asked The Other Half to build me a white photography box. And eventually, enough time went by, and he created it. You’ve seen some things photographed in it, already.


It has 12 LED lights at the top, set in the silver thing you can see at the very top of the box – I can’t show you a photo of the lights because they will destroy your retinas! Retina burn, not fun. :) But here you can see the shadows from the LED lights.


He also made me a shoe ramp, which can be used to mount smaller items to photograph as well. I will likely get some white cloth to use in the box, as well.


And here is a photo of something sparkly, just because.


The LED’s are awesome to photograph with, and if you set the aperture low, you can get these little sparkly stars of light.


NaBloPoMo Bundles – Final Edition


Yesterday I spent my day sorting through the first 700 blogs on the NaBloPoMo blogroll. The numbers do not add up.

I am totally mentally exhausted. I’ve divided the list in two to try and avoid confusion and to try and make it a little more manageable.

Here is the first list I was working from – NabList. I’ve tried to fix the URLs so they work, because www.blogname.wordpress.com is not a url that works at all, nor is www.blogname.blogspot.com and I’ve cleaned out all the double ups.

The bundles are a pretty awesome thing, and you do not need an inoreader account to be able to view them. Just click on the link and you’ll be taken to a screen that looks like this –


You’ll mostly see photos and titles but if there was no image in the post you might see just text. You can browse by scrolling down the page and if you see a photo or title that interests you, click on the title to visit the blog.

You can browse the first bundle of blogs here –

NaBloPoMo 2014

I now have a new bundle which I am starting to build from the second list. I’ll be going through and trying to add as many blogs as I can today but it may take me till the end of November to finish this project, especially if I want to keep commenting on blogs every day..

UPDATE – The second list is now completed.

If your blog is on the first list or the second list but is not in the first or second bundle, it means I could not access your blog, or that there was no feed associated with your blog. I have kept a record of each missing blog and why it is missing, so you can contact me and I can let you know why yours is missing.

You can browse the second bundle of blogs here -

NaBloPoMo2 2014

There is also my “keepers” – blogs that I connected with right away and know I want to be reading long after November is a distant memory. If your blog is not on this list, do not worry – I just need a little more time to get to know you. :) All the blogs I have added thus far will be staying in my feed reader for now.

You can browse the keepers list here -

NaBloPoMo Keepers 2014Updated 23/11/14

It is possible that I may not finish this commenting challenge. I have 10 days left, 2 of which will be taken up on an overnight trip to Canberra – you’ll hear all about that in early December – so that leaves 8 days to comment on just over 700 blogs. I hate to not finish things but at the very least I will finish creating the second bundle.

There are now 65 73 blogs on the NaBloPoMo linkup which is a pretty decent number – you can add your blog to the linkup via this post.

Apologies to my regular readers –

The fact that I can create bundles of the blogs is such a great thing and I’m excited about it. I promise this will be the second to last NaBloPoMo post here – the final post will appear on December 1, which will be a final wrap up and links list.

The post originally scheduled for today will appear much later today. :)

This post was updated on 23/11/2014.


Wordless Wednesday – Sunset


Sunset Clouds Seen From Mauna Kea, Hawaii, HI

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A Quick NaBloPoMo Thing

I’ve been adding the blogs to Inoreader, and I have created two bundles.

You do not need an Inoreader account to check out the bundles.


It will look like the above image, awesome huh? You can scroll through some lovely images and post titles and sometimes text from posts. You can click through and read the posts. You might find a new blog or few to read. :)

NaBloPoMo 2014 – This one contains 613 feeds. (Updated 19/11/14)

NaBloPoMo Keepers – This one contains 65 feeds – blogs I felt right away were long term keepers.

If you are taking part in NaBloPoMo and your blog is not on the keepers list, it is me, not you. I just need a little more time to read and get to know you before I declare you to be a keeper.

Update -

I have gone through the links list today and added in the missing links – the bundles have been updated with the missing blogs. :)

I’ve done all the work of adding in nearly 700 to the feed reader, so you won’t have to. And believe me it is not a very fun job.. right click, copy link, paste, add “feed” behind the /, hit the + button, hope I got the feed URL right and it loads.

I hope that by the end of this month I will have added in all 1427 URLs.

We also have the linkup still going – click here to add your blog.

The NaBloPoMo blogroll is now available split into two groups – the blogs I have added to the feed reader with any double ups removed, alphabetised, and URLS fixed for the most part – NabList Fixed – and the as yet not added blogs with double ups removed, alphabetised, and the URLs fixed – Nablist 2


Calibre Book Sorting


The Other Half and I have a huge collection of E-books now.

Over 14 thousand books at last count, many of which I (or we) have never yet read.

November was already crazy busy, what with

– trying to leave comments on 1,427 blogs – which is 47.5 comments each day if I want to finish this commenting challenge

– walking 5km every day on my borrowed treadmill

– chicken chores, house chores, cooking, general life duties

Somehow we have decided that now would be a good time to sort through these books. We’re using a free program called Calibre which allows us to grab metadata from the web for each book to make sure the info is correct, plus you can choose from different covers if the book had several different covers over the years.

Deleting A Book.

How do I make a decision to delete a book I have never once read? This is a tricky one, but the answer is actually quite simple on some occasions and within 5 seconds of loading the book, I say delete – if the other half has not already hit the key. Here are my rules for deleting a book.

– If the cover involves a bare male chest, delete.

– If the cover has a half naked lady, delete.

– If the cover has both a bare male chest and a half naked lady, delete.

My sister reads a lot of erotic fiction and somehow we’ve ended up with all of it in our collection.

So if a book survives the cover inspection?

Is it a book I have heard of? If no, then –

Is it an author I have heard of? If no, then –

A quick read of the book summary can usually tell me everything I need to know if I will like this book. Hey, I’ve known me for 39 years now, so I know what I like.

I like mysteries. I like books with medical examiners, detectives, police officers, investigators of some kind as the central character. I like airplane stories, zombie stories, stories of surviving an apocalypse of some kind, I love everything from Jane Austen to Stephen King via Jodi Picoult plus Tom Clancy. I *love* an autobiography. Overall my tastes are wide and varied and I’ll give most things a try.

Right now I am reading The Skin Collector by Jeffrey Deaver which is another Lincoln Rhyme book – you may remember The Bone Collector which was a movie with Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie – there is a series of 12 books with those characters.

Yesterday, I was reading Hard Choices by Hilary Clinton. Last week I revisited Lizzy and co in Pride and Prejudice. Before that I checked in on Tom Ripley. Did you know there were 4 more Ripley books after The Talented Mr Ripley?

Physical Books

A few years ago I did go through and put in all my actual books into Library Thing. You can see them here. However I have probably added 50 or more new physical books, plus some books that I got in e-book version I took to the second hand bookstore and traded for new books.

Over To You –

How many e-books do you have?
How many real books?
Have you switched to an e-book reader and if yes, do you prefer it?


Some Things I Know For Sure


Travelling across the interwebs, I sometimes stumble on a Thing that makes me want to rant. Today, I am feeling ranty about grocery shopping. I will like to share a few things I have learned in my 39 years here on this planet with you –

The Less Often You Go, The More You Save

Unless you are incredibly determined and motivated, most grocery shopping trips will result in one or more “impulse” purchases. You’ll see something you had no intention of buying on special and put it in the trolley. For me it is usually crumpets, Starburst Babies, potato chips and dips. So if you go once every fortnight instead of once a week, less impulse purchases will = more $$ saved.

Junk Mail Is Useful

Those catalogues most of us get every week from the supermarkets – you can sign up to receive those via your email now, or you can view them online. Why would you want to do that? Because you can suss out the specials before you even leave home. If something is on super special at one place and you need to restock it, you can find out via the catalogue, and go in there with a very strict list of things you need.

In Australia? Here are links to the email sign up pages for – WoolworthsAldiColes (view online only)IGA (view online only)

Saving Can Be An Effort

There have been fortnightly shopping trips where I have been to IGA, Aldi, Coles *and* Woolworths, all in one day. Why? Here’s a hint. Supermarkets make more money because in general, people only want to go to one place to shop. The big specials are designed to make you pick their store that week, because they think you’ll buy everything else there once you get in the door. They even have a term for these specials – a Loss Leader.

Don’t play by their rules – there is nothing saying you have to do all your shopping in one place. If you will save significant money purchasing items you regularly use across two or more stores, then do that. :) I’m lucky where I live because Coles, Woolworths and Aldi are right next to each other.

Buying Many Can Save You Headaches.

Buying several of an item you regularly purchase can be a great idea, especially if the item is on special. If you know you use certain tinned items or items with a long shelf life regularly, it makes sense to buy those things in bulk when they are on special. You will buy them eventually anyway, having them on hand means less trips to the supermarket.

Buying In Bulk Can Save You $$

This should be obvious. I think anyone who has ever done a price comparison of things is well aware of this fact. I will like to talk specifically about some ways we use this in our household. I bulk buy things that I know we will use eventually and store them well, so they will be there when we want to use them.

Chicken Roasters

We like a Lenards chicken mini roast once a week, but the nearest Lenards to us is a 100km round trip. So when we go, I will pre-order 8-12 chicken roasters and bring them home in insulated bags with ice packs. We have a Foodsaver, and they go into the deep freeze. They cook up beautifully even after being frozen *and* I usually get a discount for buying them in bulk.

Toilet Paper, Paper Towel, Tissues, Anti-Bac Wipes

These are things I use regularly. I’m going to continue to use them regularly. I will be spending money on these things no matter what, so it makes sense to buy them in bulk and save the $$. Plus, there is nothing worse than Running Out Of Toilet Roll As A Surprise To Yourself.

Buying Cat Related Bulk Items

Cat Food

I have seen no signs that my cats plan to stop eating anytime soon. :) They will always need food. If I buy it in bulk from our local pet store, this is good for two reasons – it supports a local business *and* it is cheaper than the supermarkets. We save over 20 cents per tin of food, which is $20 per 100 cans. Plus, we buy kitty litter and chicken food there in bulk.

Kitty Litter

I *hate* running out of kitty litter. With 2 indoor only cats we use plenty of kitty litter. Recently we have discovered a new brand at our local pet store called Trouble & Trix Lavender Litter. This stuff is amazing. The cats really like it, when they bury their doings or you scoop it instead of bad smells, a lovely lavender scent is released into the air, and the litter clumps, which means it lasts a lot longer with regular scooping and just the occasional top up. We’re down to changing it once a week at most, which saves us money. Plus, this!


Meats In Bulk Can Be Good, Too

The Other Half is the cutter up and Foodsaver of meats – in particular chicken – in this house, however, having to do this job regularly leaves him irritated and annoyed. If we buy 5-6kg of chicken breasts in bulk, and I ask him to do the chicken cutting up job once in a blue moon instead of regularly, then we freeze the results, it could be 2-3 months before he has to do this job again.

He cuts breast chicken into steaks – for me to eat when he has a red meat steak – pieces – for our regular Honey and Mustard chicken tonight dish which we enjoy – slices – for chicken and bacon pasta or stir fries.

Next time I am hoping to up the amount of chicken to 8-10kg and then we might go 4-5 months without a chicken cut up session. I’ll let him play some music while he does it, which will make him less irritated and annoyed. Happy times for all!

Pantry Staples Are Important

Right now I have everything I need in this house to make 2 weeks of Pizza. If we leave out the bases -I get a killer woodfired herby pizza base from Aldi and normally I buy 4 at a time because they are vacuum sealed and keep for ages – I have everything we need to make 5-6 weeks of pizza. I’ve got everything I need to make at least 8 recipes we regularly eat right here at home.

Sometimes Fresh Is Best

Sometimes you want something fresh cooked special. For me that is usually crumbed chicken with potatoes. I don’t like to use frozen chicken for that recipe, though I certainly could. There is something about the entire process of making crumbed chicken from fresh ingredients which is comforting to me, probably because my Grandma and I used to make it together a lot.

Also, you have to use fresh meat in the slow cooker. Those recipes get made close to shopping day, for obvious reasons. Which leads us to..

Meal Planning Is Awesome.

Sitting down and coming up with a list of meals you would like to make for the next week or two weeks seems like a daunting concept, until you do it. And once you do it, you’ll likely want to keep doing it. But this does not mean you have to eat all your meals on a set day. It just means those meals which you need super fresh ingredients for are best planned for cooking right after shopping day.

Regular Set Meal Days

Some people like to regularly meal plan a roast on a Sunday, or Pizza on a Friday. We’re not quite that regimented around here but we usually do eat pizza and a roast sometime around the weekend.

Things You Wouldn’t Usually Buy

This week I bought a large bag of red capsicum (bell peppers to some of you :) ) – they were on special, they were *not* on the meal plan, and suddenly I had visions in my mind of a roasted red capsicum and potato soup. The other half looked at me weird, when I picked them up, and he said wow, that is a lot of red capsicum. I’m about to go roast it in my new roaster, with some potatoes, and then make it into a soup. I’ll share the recipe! ;)

What do you know for sure about grocery shopping?

Share it in the comments! :)


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