Thursday, October 25, 2012

I Heart My Body 2012

A seemingly simple question: what do you love about your body? But given that I, as I imagine many of us, could write reams and reams about our bodies and our relationships with them, it's not such a simple question. I will try and keep it simple, however. 
I wouldn't say I love my body. Nor would I say I hate it. It's no longer something that occupies a lot of space in my head. Which is a welcome state of affairs, I can tell you. 
I don't think I've ever hated my body but for a long time we certainly weren't the best of friends. What I wanted from it (ie a few more inches in height, and many, many fewer inches around the thighs/bum area. Some of which could have migrated to my boobs, if they so desired) was vastly different to what it wanted to give me (the classic pear shape. With bonus cellulite). 
Somewhere along the way I stopped making such ridiculous requests. I guess I just accepted it for what it is. I try to be kind to it, and as my definition of it 'being kind' has changed, I can see that it is kind to me in return.
A few events had a hand in this transition.
1. I heard my grandmother, who was in her 70s and very trim, say she needed to lose weight. I remember thinking "god, am I still going to be worrying about weight in 50 years time? I fecking hope not" and vowed to stop fretting about it there and then. Which worked. Kind of. 
2. I left a job in which what you wore to the office was a daily consideration, and discussing fashion and female beauty part of the workload. Instead I started work on mine sites, where everyone wore the same gear and if your body ever came up for consideration (which was pretty much never), it was for what it could physically do, not how it looked. I didn't make this change with body image in mind, but it was an unexpected beneficiary.
3. I grew up. Realised there were better things to do than worry about a number on my jeans tag. 
In my dredge operator's uniform, circa 2009.
With an extra generous serve of grime
(I didn't normally get that dirty).

40 weeks pregnant in April this year.

So, what about my body makes me happy?
Aesthetically, my shoulders. My calves. My waist. As for other things:
1. It seems fairly resilient. I've never broken a bone, don't often get sick and my skin doesn't get eczema or other irritations, and copes well with the sun. 
2. I was able to get pregnant, be pregnant and then breast feed quite easily. My heart goes out to women who discover they don't have this luxury. 
3. The cursed pear shape can actually be a blessing, in health terms. Because extra fat makes a beeline (at the speed of light, it seems) to your butt, which apparently is better than having it build up around the organs in your mid section. 

So, here's my 'I Heart My Body' pic, taken last night in my togs.

After a week of balmy weather last night was bloody freezing.
It was a very quick photo shoot!

How do you feel about your body? What do you love about it?

Linking up with We Heart Life for this year's body love campaign.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wordless(ish) Wednesday - Getting old

I used to have a dress just like these ones when I was about 10, only mine had sleeves and a way-cool belt with a kind of snap-in buckle. How I loved that dress.
(Apologies for the awful window reflections.)


Are you officially old when you see fashions come round the second time?

Once again, linking up with the amazing Trish from My Little Drummer Boys (check her blog and you'll see why she's amazing) for Wordless Wednesday again. Thanks Trish!

My Little Drummer Boys

Monday, October 22, 2012

Turns out I might have a green thumb

One of the ironies of my life is that here, on the edge of a desert, I seem able to grow things. Plants, that is.
When I lived on the fertile plains of central NSW they would slowly wither and perish. In the lush tropics of Queensland anything I attempted to grow didn't even seem to try. It just upped and died. Within days of coming into my possession.
But here, in dry, dusty south-east WA? Every (well, almost) plant in my care is not just surviving but growing.

It's third summer and my water lily is finally flowering!
It didn't even get yanked off and spat out by the dog, which is what usually
happens to any flowers within her reach.
Looks like I might actually get some tomatoes this year.

And some strawberries.

I thought these paper daisy things would just sit there and cope the best
they could, but they, incredibly, have new growth and new flowers.

A flower on the 'what-ya-call-it?' plant.
This is what normally happens to my plants. I thought I'd cooked this cyclamen when I left it on the front porch one hot day. It is now the first plant in my history of plant-killing to have bounced back from near death.

Of course their condition has nothing on that of the pampered plants in my husband's part of the garden. They're going bananas over there.

Update: I took these photos a while ago and can report that everything pictured is continuing to grow. I just couldn't be bothered taking more photos.

Do you have a green thumb? Or do you only have to look at a plant for it to keel over?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Seeing the light

One thing that struck me when we moved over here (here being WA goldfields) was the quality of the light. I don't think I can adequately describe it, so will just say that it is strong and vibrant and saturates everything. Sometimes it feels like a living thing, and the place positively glows in the half hour before the sun sets.  
I'm not a photographer, but I can imagine photographers in paroxysms of delight at it. 
Morning light hits the back yard.

One afternoon at the local tip.

OK, so not strictly the Goldfields (is actually just south of Geraldton),
but still WA.

Evening glory. 

The setting moon last week.

I maintain my previous home - tropical Queensland - has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. But those magical mountains and soaring rainforests meant things were pretty ordinary in the light department, blocking the sun as they do. So whatever trick of topography is at play here to deliver such rays was quite an eye opener.
Almost two years after first seeing the WA light (so to speak), I still marvel at it every morning and evening.

Some pictures of the region by actual photographers, which I found on the TrekEarth site: 



What bit of nature do you love about your home? 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

It's not just slippers. I'm also addicted to baby carriers

I have a problem. And this week, being International Babywearing Week, is probably a good time to face up to it. I think I'm a sling addict. Just something else to add to my embarrassing slipper addiction.
Babywearing was one of the practices I most looked forward to while pregnant. Though I initially didn't know it had its own name. I thought it was just having your baby snuggled into you while you were also able to go about various jobs. 
By the time my baby was born I had three baby carriers. That number reached four when she was a few months old. 


Some of our early babywearing occasions.

I really wanted one of the fabric, wrap style ones, and my lovely grandfather bought us one as our 'you're having a baby' present. But I'd also heard Baby Bjorns were well liked, so when I saw a local mother was selling a second hand one in good condition I snapped it up. And finally, there was a pouch style one available with some other pre-loved baby gear I was buying so I figured I may as well have it too. I drew the line there. 
The wrap and pouch would be for home, and the less fiddly Baby Bjorn would stay in the car and be used on town trips. "No more" I told myself. 
Until using something as simple as the pouch proved to be beyond my powers of co-ordination, and the wrap too fiddly in some situations. That fecker takes a LONG time to get on when you've a baby yelling in your ear hole. When a simple clip-on carrier came up for sale for 10 bucks I thought 'there's my solution!' and added it to my collection.


Some more recent rides in the Hugabub, one of which 
involved a short nap (centre).

But for all my enthusiasm and preparation our babywearing experiences have been a bit hit and miss. 
When I was researching what carriers to buy, I read a lot of information advertising about how happy and comfortable babies were in slings, and how mothers likewise appreciated the comfort and convenience of babywearing. 
Yet many of the mothers I came across selling their carriers said their bubs hated being in them. "That's weird," I thought. "These 'experts' say babies love it. Oh well, I'm sure my baby will be more than happy strapped to chest for several hours a day."
So imagine my surprise when said baby did not in fact beam up at me with rapturous smiles and/or quickly drop off to contented sleep upon being placed into any of our slings. Many times she was lifted back out and the thing torn off just as quickly as I'd put her in it. Fancy mothers knowing more than marketers!
Thankfully, this was not always her response. It may be that I learned when she was going to like being worn and when she wasn't, but she does generally enjoy time in the Hugabub and often nods off. And unless she is hungry, or too warm, the Baby Bjorn is a hit while we're shopping. The other two slings have also come in handy several times. 
As for myself, I enjoy having her snuggled against me. Though I'd need my arms to grow roughly a foot each for me to find the experience as easy and comfortable as I had hoped to. 
I feel very traditional and Mother Earth-like, even, trotting down the street with my baby upon my chest rather than labouring behind a wheeled monstrosity that looks and handles more like a Hummer than a pram. (Though of course I do have a pram, and am not afraid to wield it when the occasion warrants it.)
One thing I've noticed is that everyone else loves seeing babies carted about in slings. We attract lots of smiles and friendly little chats. My favourite was with an elderly lady who said she used one with her son - a son who is now 60. Their carrier had a little seat in it and with him safely tucked in she'd get on her push bike and they'd have a merry time riding about town. 

Paul had more success with the pouch-style one.

What about you? Are you a fan of babywearing? Was/is your baby?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Desert Blossoms

I *may* have nicked these blooms from the trees across the road. They've been taunting me with their prettiness for weeks.

Blossom on a Coolgardie Gum. Funnily enough, growing in Coolgardie.

These are actually from our garden:

Once again, linking up with Trish from My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday again. Thanks Trish!

My Little Drummer Boys

How is nature performing this spring in your neck of the woods?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

My first blog award! Because apparently I'm 'cute' and 'welcome'

I was granted my very first blog award the other day and can't tell you how chuffed I am. But, well, very chuffed!
It is the Liebster Award, which is shared by bloggers among other bloggers. It is "given to up-and-coming bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers" and I discovered one morning Lisa from Mummymanifesto had passed it to me. Thanks Lisa! Then that evening I learned another blogger had also awarded it to me. So I'll do one post on it now, and another later.

"Liebster" is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

The rules:
* Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
* Answer the questions the person who tagged you created, then make 11 questions of your own for the people you tag.
* Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
* Go to their page and tell them.
* No tag backs.

So, as per the rules:
1. Where would you like to travel before you die? New York. Am a country girl to the core but would love to see the world's ultimate city.
2. High heels or ballet flats? In my head, heels. In reality, flats.
3. Where did you meet your partner - if you have one? Met my husband at home - our families were friends and apparently I chased him, trying to kiss him, at age four. A story I dispute.
4. What was your first car? First car was a little red Mitsubishi colt, 1980ish model. Had only an AM radio and no air conditioning, and handled very well til you crammed five a few people in the back. I loved it even after it died.
5. What is your favourite blog and why? Slightly More Depth Than A Teaspoon. A blog that makes me smile, think, cry and laugh. Beautiful, funny and honest posts written by the inspiring Robyn.
6. Favourite dessert? Apple crumble. My mum made one for me when she was visiting earlier in the year. Heaven!
7. When was the last time you wore red lipstick and why? Think it was about February this year. Um, we were going to town and I felt like it?
8. Who are you inspired by? Lots of people. Marian Keyes. Caroline Overington. Miranda Lambert. Gina Rinehart (really bugs me that she's depicted as Australia's most hated woman. But that is a post of its own.)
9. Worst subject at school? I was brilliant at everything! Yeah right. Journalists generally say maths was their worst, but mine was chemistry. I don't remember much of it except our teacher had very bad sweat patches.
10. What music do you clean your house to? Country music (mostly). See mention of Miranda Lambert above.
11. What motto or quote do you live by? Sometimes the biggest risk is taking no risk at all.

Eleven things about me...
1. Am a homebody. Love days when I know I don't have to go anywhere. 
2. Have been married for almost 11 years. How did that happen?!
3. Always brag that my sister is a vet. 
4. Have one daughter. 
5. Always thought I'd want two children, but now am wondering if that will be enough. 
6. Like things to be neat and tidy. 
7. Married to someone who likes things messy and chaotic. 
8. Often feel like throttling the one I married. 
9. Am a bit of a grammar and spelling Nazi. Very embarrassing when I make errors myself.
10. It sets my teeth on edge when people say "I seen" when they mean "I saw". 
11. Hate the fecking cold. And the fecking wind. 

Eleven questions posed...
1. Have you ever moved interstate or overseas?
2. What is your dream job?
3. What's your favourite song from your teenage years?
4. Are you a camping person or a hotel person?
5. Your favourite thing about yourself?
6. How many pairs of jeans do you own?
7. Have you a potty mouth or do you rarely swear?
8. What's your favourite accent? (Eg Irish, French etc)
9. Prefer Malcolm Turnbull or Tony Abbott? (As Opposition leader, not in a 'you have to shag one, and you can't choose death' kind of hypothetical.)
10. What's on your kitchen sink this very moment?
11. Do you have a nickname? If so, what is it?

Eleven bloggers tagged...
1. The Tropical Gardener and Cook:
2. Mastiff Maiden:
3. 30 is the New Black: 
4. Slightly More Depth Than a Teaspoon:
5. My Journey:
6. Macaronic:
7. My Bloggable Day:
8. And Sew We Craft:
9. House of Nom:
10. Red Dolls:
11. Saturday Morning Ogre Mum:

Also linking up with Jess from Diary of a Stay at Home Mum this Tuesday.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thankful for... public holidays

Once again, I forgot we had a public holiday this week. I'm not one who often remembers them, other than the obvious dates like Christmas, Anzac Day etc. I'm usually alerted when I overhear people discussing long weekend plans, get curious, check the calendar and sing 'woohoo, a public holiday!'  
Apart from the possibility that I have a shocking memory, my inability to remember public holidays stems mainly from the fact that I've rarely actually gotten the day off. Working in firstly the media, and then the mining industry, took care of that. 
And now that I'm at home with a baby, every day is a day 'off'. Or a day 'on', depending on how you look at it. 
The husband too works in the mines, so trotted off to his job early Monday morning. 

But even though public holidays may not mean sleep-ins, back yard barbecues and a shortened working week in our household, they still have advantages:
* Penalty rates. More dough isn't something to sneeze at. 
* Relaxed atmosphere at work. Management (generally) takes the day off. Need I say more?
* Free parking. Totally irrelevant now, but this was a huge bonus when I worked in Cairns. We loved days when the parking inspectors stayed away. 
* Casual clothes in the office. Hello shorts and flip flops! On the mine site, well, it's still boots and hard hats. 
* I got to whine about having to go to work when almost everyone else in the country was still in their pyjamas (conveniently omitting the fact that I got either extra pay or extra annual leave as recompense).

Do you love public holidays? Or are they just another day for you?

Linking up with Kate from Kate Says Stuff for this Thankful Thursday. 

Thankful Thursday

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Escape from the desert

We finally drove down to visit the Esperance region last weekend. After a dreadful start, weather-wise, we got some magical days.
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Blue, blue sky. blue, blue water and white sand.

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One of the gorgeous bays.
Rose sand by emmamayall80
Our unsuccessful attempts at a sand handprint to mark Rosie's first beach visit.
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More white beach and blue water.
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Rocky beach.

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Paul enjoyed putting the ute through its 4WD paces.
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Sunrise over the bay.

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Seaside wildflowers.
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More wildflowers.

Linking up with Trish for Wordless Wednesday again. Thanks Trish!
My Little Drummer Boys

Have you been anywhere nice lately? Or do you have a trip planned?
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