Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Years Eve

Happy New Years Eve non-existant readers :). Bran and I are going to the Gold Coast with some friends for the evening. Just a quiet party with friends, no big drink-a-thon out in the pubs, and thats the way we like it. Here are things i'm going to try and do for the new year;

-Go for a elimination diet for at least a week then add things back in
-Go to water aerobics classes/start swimming regularly
-Get arthritis under control
-Take at least a few classes from Endeavour
-Learn to have more patience with myself and with my husband
-Cook more in bulk
-Grow more edibles
-Of course, lose weight

Pain: R: arm, fingers, ankle, knee. L: Arm, most fingers, ankle. Back is sore today too, especially to the right of my lower back. I'll take some voltarin before I leave but trying to stay away from prednisone as I think it's upsetting my stomach.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Boys and Their Toys

Bran got his new TV today :). We spent most of the day messing around connecting the laptop and playing video games. Boys and their toys.

Pain: R: arm, fingers, ankle. L: Elbow, wrist, most fingers, ankle. Sternum, ribs.

I feel like it's spreading pretty rapidly. I tried some voltarin gel on my wrist, it worked quite quickly and not too bad. I was able to play some video games for a bit :).

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Welcome Back

I finally manage to update this blog to include previous blog posts before I put the other one to private. I hope anyone who stumbles upon this doesn't mind the probably half-year gap >.>. I shall still keep a private blog for personal rants but i'll try and keep this one up to date :).

So today Bran had his job trial. It seems hard to get a read on what they really thought, but i'm thankful once again that he already had a position in the new year.

I bought a new swim suit yesterday. It's very cute, I think. Hopefully it will be cute when I start up the water aerobics with the little old people in the heated pool XD. Ah dear, what fun arthritis is.

We had pizza for dinner, not home made, I got a margarita pizza on a thin crust and it wasn't too bad. I was good and only had 4 slices ;).

I think it will be good writing for an audience again, whether anyone reads it or not. It will make me stay positive!

Pain: R arm, elbow had an interest crunch this morning. Wrist was very painful after attempting to knit. L: Elbow, wrist, most fingers hurt today. R ankle, knee.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Chili 2

So, today I shall make a new blog post. Today I am making chili :D.

Chili always reminds me of my Mum, who would take most of a day to make the delicious stew. I remember her adding bits and bobs, chopping and browning and letting it sit. When I became a vegetarian, she even made sure to make a special pot just for me :). We would eat it by the bowl full with cheese or sour cream on top, or with crackers, or on top of a hot dog (which was my person favorite ;) thank you Sonic the Hedgehog).

Today, I make my own version. I still use the basics of; onions, peppers, celery,canned tomatoes, kidney beans and spices, but I also add in other vegetables and black beans. I sometimes add different amounts of spices and even some cocoa powder if i'm feeling adventurous! This time around i'm also adding in quorn mince "meat".

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

New Day

So, I will now be re-opening a public blog :D hopefully i'm interesting enough for other people to read.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011


I am now officially a temporary Australian resident :) which means I can get a job and go to school! I got the e-mail today confirming that my residency has gone through. The only down side is that they will not be fast tracking my permanent residency. That alright though, apparently they start counting the two years from when you first apply, which was last August. So it's been almost a year already and I can handle one more year of waiting (considering they told me last I called that it can take up to another year for just the temp!) So Bran and I are happy campers :D.

On a different note, in about 36 hours, i'll be giving my brother a great big hug :D!!! So exciting!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Do de do

Two more days until we leave :D I can't wait! So exciting.

Bran and I have been cleaning today. Not too much else.

Monday, 6 June 2011


I've been feeling really tired lately. I think maybe I was low on iron? Anyway, I had a black bean and spinach wrap today, so hopefully that will boost it back up :). 

I'm a bit annoyed at tiger airways (the company we are flying to Sydney and back on). They decided to make out flight in the evening instead of in the morning >.<. So much for Bran and I having a nice day alone in Sydney. Oh well, at least it is only a few more days until we see Bob and Keri! We still need to do a crazy cleanup of the house, especially as Sarah and Zoe will be staying here for the few days we are away. 

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Meet ups

I went to another Pagan meet up today. It went very well :) though we mostly just chatted away. My back has been feeling better recently (maybe from dropping a few kilos ;) ) probably because i've made sure to be doing my stretches...except for today >.> i'll do two sets before bed.

As a side note, the stock cubes I have taste like ramen, only without all the weird filler msg stuffs. <3

Saturday, 4 June 2011


So the cake I made is called Crazy Cake. It is crazy because it uses baking soda and vinegar as a leavening agent and does not include dairy or eggs :D. I tend to use butter instead of vegetable oil and cover it in ganache, so mine isn't dairy free, but it is soooo good. I originally got this recipe from my Aunt Jo, and it was used as the base for our wedding cake :) also covered in ganache.

Crazy Cake

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
6 Tbl. cocoa powder
2 tsps. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

Mix all dry ingredients together. Make 3 holes in dry ingredients, then add 

2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbl. vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla

add one liquid to each hole.
Then pour 2 cups of water over top and mix till combined.

Poor into two floured cake pans. Bake at 350*F for 20 - 25 mins or until done.


250 G nice dark chocolate
1/3 C pouring cream
1/2 ts vanilla essence
pinch of salt

Melt and mix chocolate and cream in a double boiler, make sure not to burn!
After smooth and melted, remove from heat. Add vanilla and salt. Mix well.
Leave at room temp until cool, mixing every so often.
Frost cake.

We found the cake to be an even better texture the next day after spending the night in the fridge, super yummy :D.

Other than that, my day was pretty quiet. I went to the store and got some goodies, then hung out with Bran while he watched his football. Less than a week until Sydney!

Bran's Birthday :)

It is Bran's birthday today :) I made him a yummy cake. Actually, the same cake as our anniversary. Haha, but that is what he wanted! We went out with Sarah (MiL) and Zoe (SiL) for dinner and a movie. Finally saw the 4th Pirates of the Caribbean, it was good. I never really found those movies fantastic, but I liked the mermaids. Very neat characters.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Physio Part 6

The physio beat me up t.t. Not only did I leave there really sore, but she gave me hard core-strengthening exercises to do!  She also said I could start doing pilates. Like, one on one, and that I should get a pilates ball to help build up my core strength @.@. I might do one or two one-on-one pilates classes, but I sure as heck can't be doing that every week! Not to mention seeing her every other week! Thankfully the pilates ball isn't expensive.

Beyond that.. I didn't do very much. I made a yummy pizza for Bran's birthday (it's actually tomorrow, but we had it tonight as we will be out tomorrow night). Tomorrow i'm going to make him a cake. He is going to be 25 :) so old! Just kidding hun <33.

One week from now we will be in Sydney, eagerly awaiting the arrival of my brother and Keri :) I can't wait!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011


I'm tired and sore :(.

Had a lovely afternoon tea with Faye, Bran's paternal grandmother.

New bed is hard to adjust to.

Need to walk more.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

New Mattress!

So,  our most expensive purchase to date four our home is our mattress. Of course, a good mattress usually costs a pretty penny. Ours is a futon. As in a proper futon, not the couch-to-bed type thing. The reason it is so expensive was because it is made of organic cotton. Yes, we are crazy enough to buy a organic cotton futon. It's even on the floor right now (though, on top of an older quilt so it's not directly on the icky floor).

We decided to get a futon, oddly, even before my surgery. Both of us slept really well in Japan. While this may have been from exhaustion, as we were walking all day, we like to think it was the lovely hard futon and the interestingly hard Japanese pillows. So upon looking into it more, futons are really great for spinal alignment. Then my back went crazy and I had to get surgery. So now that I can get up and down easily enough, we have our futon! And of course, it is made of organic cotton. Why, do you ask? Because it is crazy how many chemicals are stuffed into mattress'. I wont get into it right now, but if people are worried about what is in their food, maybe they should also think about what they spend 8 hours a day laying on :) but this is just my opinion.

My only worry is that Milo will also decide to sleep on it, as it's on the floor >.>. We may just end up getting a bed frame from the same people (untreated wood, FTW!)

Until tomorrow, byebye!

Monday, 30 May 2011

Curry and Quiet

*Yawn* Not much to update on! Bran was home today, it was a quiet day. I did make a yummy curry, and I made naan for the first time! It came out pretty well. I'll try to get a picture tomorrow. My back was a bit sore after the cooking, but was otherwise alright.

On a different note, I want to make an infinity dress! They are basically skirts with really long wide straps attached that you wrap around your top as you see fit. They look really neat and sudo-easy to make.  I got the inspiration from this blog which I found off of a postsecret post. I'm so excited about it! Especially as if you use a jersey knit, you wont need to hem it :D. I'm such a newb, but thats ok.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Another Lazy Sunday and Panfries!

You'd think I don't do anything, seriously! Bran and I had a nice quiet sunday at home :). We took Milo out for a walk around the park, I made breakfast for lunch consisting of eggs, panfries, and mandarin slices. We read, watched some tv together, talked about our upcoming trip and thats about it! I do love panfries. To get them the way I like them, it takes some time though. So how about a how to? Yay, useful!

Emma's Panfries (homefries, skillet potatoes, etc.) 
Makes 2 generous servings

2 large/ 4 small potatoes
1/2 medium onion 
1-2 Tb Oil
1 Tb butter
garlic powder, salt, pepper to taste

1. Cut potatoes into roughly1 inch cubes, slice onion in the way you like.
2. Boil potatoes and onion until you can stick a fork into them. Remember we are not making mashed potatoes, so only about 5 minutes!
3. Heat pan and add 1 Tb of oil and 1/2 Tb of butter
4. Drain potatoes/onion and toss in heated pan.
5. Let sit until potatoes are nicely browned on one side, then turn them to a new side.
6. Repeat step 5, adding in the 1/2 Tb butter and 1 Tb oil as needed. 
7. Once entirely crunchy and browned, add garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.
8. Set aside while you cook your eggs, then enjoy with some ketchup :D

These are based off of how my father used to make his panfries. He used to cook us a big breakfast every sunday morning :) panfries, toast, eggs, bacon...the works. I miss them! I do tend to cook my panfries a bit longer, but i'm crazy about making sure they are entirely browned and crunchy. Thanks Dad for such a great memory! Mmm...makes me hungry all over again.

On the other side of the world, my cousin Natalie is in labor. Maybe? I've gotten confusing messages. Anyway, Bran and I are both awaiting the arrival of our newest family member, baby Stella :D I hope both she and her mum are safe and sound and that things have smoothed out. 

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Cookies and Ghibli

I made cookies :). Bran was away at a big football game all day so Milo and I have had the house to ourselves. We had a crazy old-school animated movie marathon (sorta) and I also watched Love and Other Drugs. I thought it was a really good movie, but I like Anne Hathaway. She has such pretty hair! The animated movies I watched were The Castle in the Sky,  and The Aristocats. The former is an older Studio Ghibli and the latter is an older Disney.

Anyway, beyond that I made cookies, made a mess, and not a heck of a lot more. Tomorrow I really need to go for a walk. That will be something nice for Bran and I to do, along with our little dog of course :).

Friday, 27 May 2011

Cakes and Cookies and Pizza, Oh My!

Feeling much better today :D. I was able to go out for a walk (well, really to the store to get some groceries with Bran) and cooked a pizza for dinner. Mmm...I really enjoy home made pizza. Though rally, I miss Pizza Bella T.T. Oh America, why are you so far away? I'm pretty sure Bran and I could eat at Pizza Bella every night of the week. We both agree that they do the best pizzas ever.

We also watched Tomorrow When the War Began. It started off not so good, the acting was sub par, but once the actual story started, it was pretty good. I do enjoy survival type stories :). I think Bran liked it more than I, but he also read the books when he was younger. Maybe I should try and find the books?  Hm.

Mmm, they are making cheesecake on Masterchef. I really want to eat it. Too much talk about food here! I think i'll make some chocolate chip cookies tomorrow. For Bran, right? Totally not because I want cookies >.> because i'm trying to lose weight, right? Right.

Well, i'm off to daydream about cookies. Byebye

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Feeling Better

I've been feeling better today for the most part. I rested most of the morning with a hot water bottle, and that long with taking panadol had gotten me back on my feet for the afternoon :). The bed has been ordered, hospital stuff straightened out, and what do do with Milo figured out. Now just to wait until tomorrow to get some shopping done. I made a big ol' pot of soup to last for a few days, along with some nice bread Bran got I should be set for a few days. 

One of the things I put into the soup was roasted cabbage. I'd never thought to roast cabbage before, though I have roasted brussel sprouts and cauliflower. It actually turned out very well, probably would have been great with a blue cheese dressing, mmm....

Thats about it for me, hopefully my back will be all set tomorrow and I can get back to walking and doing useful things. 

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Of Pain Meds and Futons

I'm feeling much happier today :), though still sore. I did take some pain meds, just ibuprofen and panadol. I also kept heat on it quite often throughout the day. I did not make the moussaka, but I did manage to do a load of laundry. Tomorrow we have to order the new bed, hopefully it will be here before we leave! Slightly poor planning on my part >.>. We are getting an all organic cotton futon :) it'll be nice and sturdy for my poor back, plus nice and chemical-free. It's a bit expensive as far as futons go, but both Bran and I think it will be a worthwhile investment. For anyone in Australia, we are ordering from Organature i'm really looking forward to it.

On a different note, two weeks from right now I will be making sure we are packed for out Sydney trip and making sure our guest room is set up (as best it can be with out lack of furniture!) Not only does it make me incredibly happy that we will be seeing my brother and Keri, but it's a really good thing for Bran and I. We haven't gone away since the honeymoon, and I think we really need a bit of a vacation. Bran especially, I feel like he is getting burnt out at work :( he's just such a good provider! I'm just not quite sure what we will be doing with Milo. We are looking into a dog sitter (Bran is calling them tomorrow) if not, then off to the kennel in the extraordinarily high priced pet taxi x.x. Guh. But what will be, will be.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011


My back was very sore today :(. I did make myself go for a walk for about 40 minutes, but to put it in perspective I was going so slow that an old man with a walker went by me o.O.  Beyond that I made a tasty mini white pizza for lunch. It had sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella, a bit of feta, and garlic oil instead of a red sauce. All of that on homemade pizza dough. garlicy. I re-watched most of Howl's Moving Castle, I so love that movie :) and most Studio Ghibli films. I think tomorrow i'll make another vegetarian moussaka. 

On the other hand, I had a good heart-to-heart with my husband today. I've been feeling down lately, and it takes a lot for me to talk about it. But I did, so hopefully we can work things out together :). 

Monday, 23 May 2011

Long Day

It's been a long day. I didn't go for a walk as my back has been sore :(. I'm feeling a bit down.

Sunday, 22 May 2011


Sometimes I get frustrated. Quite often I get frustrated. It isn't so often that I get angry, but especially lately I have been frustrated and sad. A big part of this is not being able to do things I would normally do (laundry, some cooking, yoga) because of my back, another part is being so far away from my family. Sadly, there isn't anything that can really be done to help either, but this is life.

I feel frustrated that I cant work or go to school yet. I feel frustrated that the people I love don't know when I need their support (they don't know because i'm not communicating it enough, just fyi). I'm frustrated that there is a huge pile of laundry in the 'stuff' room that we couldn't do this weekend because it was raining off and on. I'm frustrated that I sometimes make my husband feel bad when I don't communicate effectively. Most of all i'm frustrated at how frustrated i've been lately! I've been very quick to be annoyed or to shut down within the past few weeks, and it isn't something I am happy with.

So for this upcoming week, i'm going to try very hard to make sure I communicate effectively, get enough sleep, and walk every day to help combat this negativity. I'm going to make sure to tell my husband how much I love and appreciate him every day. And I may just have to get some nice dark chocolate to help this process move on ;).

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Pagan meetups

I had a meet-up with the Pagan group that I met for Samhain. Only two of them came, but it seems like we are going to go forward in forming a learning circle :). To get to this meet up, I had to go to Ipswich x.x which was pretty far away! But it was worth it. Now i'm very tired so I sleep!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Physio Part 5 (I think?)

The physio told me I can start coming every other week now :D! Yaaaay. Apparently i'm starting to finish up the recovery process? I still have the numb stripe down my leg, but I can definitely feel the strength mostly back. The only times I really notice are when i'm putting on/taking off a shoe (my foot doesn't quite go in like it should, it's almost like putting on a shoe for someone else where I have to kind of stuff my foot in >.>) or if i'm walking on an incline or decline. I've also been given some different exercises to do for my back and to build up core strength, which is good as I feel like i've bult up the muscle I could doing the same exercises that i've been doing basically for a month and a half.

On a different note, poor Milo! He's been almost obsessively licking his paws for a while, finally Bran and I decided to put socks on him at night so he wont even be tempted. We put a sock over his bandage when he had cut his paw on some glass (i'm still not sure how this happened, nor how he got the glass >.>) as he was literally eating the bandage off, and it kept him from doing further damage, so we have taken this approach once more only with all four paws :(. He doesn't mind too much as we only put them on him when he is pretty sleepy, but he sure looks funny!

Milo the Sock Dog

Poor thing, but his paws really do look much better when he isn't licking them obsessively! Sorry about the poor quality picture, it's from my phone >.>.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Not Much to Say

Not very much to update on i'm afraid! It's hard doing this every day :/. I made some yummy sweet potato soup out of the sweet potato mash I made the other day. It was very nice on a slightly chilly day like today.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011


So we had a bit of drama at our house today. I went to get a drink of water, and the fridge had died! So I call Bran, and after a few conversations we decide to look into getting a new fridge. Off I go to Harvey Normans, only to find out that I cannot purchase it, I need to get Bran to purchase it as he is Australia and I am not a resident yet :/. But so it is, I call Bran and he decided to check it out after work. Meanwhile, I get back home and re-plug in the fridge just to see what happens, and what do you know, it comes back to life! It's aaaalllliiiiiivvveeeeee! But the lightbulb is out >.>....Well, at least we don't need to fork out the money to get a new one yet!

Afterwards, Bran and I sat down with a nice cup of coffee and started on my latest paperwork from immigration. Hurrah. I need to call my family to get some dates tomorrow, but hopefully I can have it done by then. Alas, no cooking happened today, though I finally washed that weird super slippery blanket that we hopefully wont have to use again.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Of Books and Cooks

I've just started a new book, Sacred Hearts, by Sarah Dunant. I haven't read her before, but I like historical novels and for some reason I like reading about religious people. This particular book is about a convent of Nuns in Italy during the 1570's and so far it's very interesting.

The last book I read, Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert, was also good, though drastically different from my current book. Her's was all about the process she has to go through for her and her now husband to be able to live in the USA together. I can sympathise somewhat as my husband and I are going through a 'process' for me to live here, although thankfully we don't have to live in another country while the visa is going through! It was also about marriage and how she came to accept her (slightly forced by the US govn't) place in marriage history. It was a good read, especially for someone like me who is always pondering what exactly marriage means and how the heck I got here. But that is another story :).  

Beyond that I had the rest of my papers printed off, to be filled out tomorrow over a big cup of coffee and much annoyance. So close, yet so far! Bran is going to photocopy our 'proof of relationship' stuff tomorrow including our letters back and forth, our lease, bank statements, internet messages, adoption papers for our dog, etc. etc. Hopefully they will see that we are indeed a happily married couple who has been in a partner type relationship for over three years. Here is to hoping, eh?

Once more, sorry for the lack of pictures. The english muffins are basically gone, so no pictures of them :( i'm considering making more tomorrow though, they are so handy and Bran really likes them. I also may make some tortillas, mmm...tortilla, as I like to make wraps on them. Maybe pita bread instead, hmmm.

On a completely different note, I had an interesting feeling on the way home from the library. I was looking up at the mountains in the distance, and just had a powerful feeling of everything being right and wonderful. I had to stop, and gaze, and be thankful for that moment. To me, those are the moments when you know that God/dess/s are there, listening to you, trying to help or guide you. Those quiet moments where you know you are exactly where you are meant to be in the world. I've been working on stopping and sending out my thanks lately, I know I have such a blessed life. Not to say there aren't bumps, and that I don't throw a fit over those bumps :D but I truly am thankful to have the life and path that I do. And i'm greatly looking forward to what may come next on this path.

Now for bed, goodnight!

Monday, 16 May 2011

English Muffins and Sweet Potatoes

I received a special package in the mail today :). Two of my friends back home sent me some rainbow twizzlers, jellybeans and two very sweet cards. It reminded me of how wonderful it is to have such a deep connection, even if it is across the world rather than across the street.

Beyond that I had a pretty quiet day. I finally cooked up all of the sweet potatoes, now I have to figure out what to do with them. I also made some yummy english muffins using the recipe from Peter Reinhart's The Break Bakers Apprentice. It's the only bread baking book I have, and it is well loved :). Bran was very happy as I think english muffins are one of his favorite home made things. They didn't have the nice nooks and crannies like the 'fork split' ones from the store, but I think I just need to use a slightly wetter dough.  I think i'll try and make muffins out of the sweet potato. Maybe use it like pumpkin? I think that would probably be fine.

Beyond that, tomorrow i'm off to the library to print off my papers and try and get all of my extra visa stuff in. Possible then to Brookside to the medicare center to claim my last MRI dealie. I'll try and actually do a useful post tomorrow too >.>. I really will! Maybe...

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Lazy Sunday

Not much to post on today. Bran and I had a big discussion about what we want in our future and whether or not I should be staying home when we have kids. I don't think he likes the idea of me being a homemaker as a career, but if I were to do that, we would be living on a homestead type things, so it isn't like I would be bored or not contributing. But it's something we will just have to see where life brings us :). We also talked about ducks. As in, getting ducks instead of chickens. For some reason, Bran really doesn't like chickens, but he is alright with ducks. Whatever gets us some eggs is what I say!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Three Days Later

No,  I have not had to get another emergency surgery. Blogger has been down for some reason. So here is a general update on what happened.

Went to the physio. She is happy with my strength returning but I got in trouble for not keeping up with the stretches >.> oops. I also got an email from Immigration requesting more info, so tuesday I need to go to the library and get the new forms I need to fill out.

Long day. I made a yummy vegetarian moussaka from this recipe  which even Bran liked! I also had a bit of a breakdown, but everything is sorted out and mostly better :).

Bran and I walked around quite a lot today. It was good to be out and about. The Suns lost :(. I'm pretty tired, but we have a big cleanup day planned for tomorrow, so I must get plenty of sleep.

p.s. I've lost almost two kilos :D

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Good News!

Brans contract was renewed! That was such a wonderful thing to happen, i'm so relieved! It's for basically the rest of the year, so we'll have to see what comes then, but by that point we should have moved and should be paying significantly less rent. I'm very thankful that they continue to keep Bran on, and he is a good worker, so i'm sure he will continue to prove his worth :).

Beyond that, I walked for a little over and hour and a half today! Huzzah, yay for muscles recovering! I have started to get some sciatic stuff (not pain, more like pins and needles) on the opposite side of my right leg, but i'm not too worried about it.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

2 Day Update

Don't worry, I haven't left you! For some reason blogspot wasn't letting me do an entry yesterday, so i'll split this one into two.

May 9, 2011

I was feeling really good in the morning! So good, in fact, that I decided to do some cooking :). I made lovely little crustless quiches and an apple rhubarb crumble. For the quiches I used a slightly modified version of the recipe from the Heavenly Homemakers. I modified it in that I used milk and a little bit of butter, and added tuscan seasoning. For the add ins I used zucchini and some sneaky brown rice ;). I also mis read it and put it into 7 muffin dishes instead of 12 >.>, but I like how they turned out. Bran liked them too, so that was a huge plus!

The crumble turned out alright. I boiled the rhubarb too long, so it was mushy :( but the topping was fantastic! I believe I used the recipe here as a base, but really changed it quite a lot. The filling was completely different and I did not use the hazelnuts (Bran can't eat nuts, sadly). But it was gone the next morning :) so musta still been good.

May 10, 2011

Today also started off with me feeling pretty good. I actually did a load of laundry (although, that was really pushing my muscles). I also roasted the pumpkin and used the silver beet i'd been meaning to use. I had a lovely sautéed silver beet, pumpkin and feta salad with some leftover brown rice for lunch, yum! Later in the day Bran, Milo and I went for a walk around the big park nearby. My leg did start to get quite tired by the end of it, but this was only after an hour of walking and quite a few hills, so I think I have been doing pretty well!

Thats my update for the day then, sorry I wasn't able to say anything yesterday. Bye-bye <3

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you Mothers out there. To my own Mother, I don't need to say it, as she's in the Other Worlds, she already knows :).

I'm going to write up a short bit about my Mother, as she has played an important part in my life. She passed away about three and a half years ago. It was something none of us noticed at first. She had lung cancer, but we only found out about two weeks before she passed. It was very quick, too quick. I had just started college, and I still feel like I was a child at that point. I was not prepared to lose her.

But then, no one ever is I suppose! She was a kind, of not slightly distant, Mother. She let my sibling and I find ourselves, and was always accepting of us no matter what kind of shenanigan we were up to! When I decided to become a vegetarian basically overnight, she never complained. When I talked about being Pagan and the different things in my meditation, she listened. When I was dating a guy in high school who was 7 years my senior, she didn't complain (I didn't really tell her, but she knew :).

When I met Bran, she wasn't there. When I was in my deepest depression, she wasn't there. When I got married and moved to Australia, she wasn't there. When I someday have my own child....she wont be there. I know she was there in spirit. I know she is somewhere watching out for my family, smiling at my failed attempt of gardening, thinking about what a good dog I have, loving my choice of husband, and quietly waiting for her grand babies to be made. Those thoughts make me both happy and sad. But it is what it is. I'm thankful I had her for a Mother.

On the other hand, we did have a visit from my MiL! It's always nice to see her :). For a Mother's Day gift Bran and I found her these lovely stained glass handled cheese knives, which i'm happy to report she loved. We had a yummy sticky date pudding (store bought, sorry!) and coffee and had a chat about what kind of pets we should get when we move in together (to keep Milo company, right?). Bran and I made sure to do a massive clean up before hand, so along with a lovely time seeing Sarah, we now have a very clean house. That to me is one of life's finest little pleasures. I still can't do most of the cleaning right now, so it was so nice to have Bran home to help and do what I couldn't handle.

And so with that I am off to ponder over my Mother some more, and thank our Mother Earth for giving us everything we have. Don't forget to thank Her as well!

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Of Houses and Hassles

My MiL and I checked out another house today (and had a lovely chat over coffee). We seem to be having trouble finding a house that is really perfect for all of us. There has been one house that has fit the bill, and is currently back on the market, but Sarah needs to sell her current house first.

I have mixed feelings about living together. We will have a separate little flat, so we wont be sharing spaces beyond the yard, but it still feels like we are living with a parent. I feel like less of an independent adult :/. But what will be, will be. It will sure as heck be convenient to have rent be a third of what we are paying now, especially if Bran looses his contract!

Anyway, beyond that i've had a quiet day. Bran is now on his way back from the AFL game (yay Suns!) so i'm going to wait up for him then hit the hay :) goodnight never never land.

Friday, 6 May 2011


It seems like it's been a long week. Lots of calls, lots of ups and downs.

On an up, I got a check up concerning a weird little spot on my upper abdomen, but it's fine. The doctor also checked all o my moles and other spots and dots. All is well there :).

On a down, Bran got news today that they may not renew his contract. This. Is. Bad. Due to a payout (if he isn't rehired) we will be alright for about three months (this is assuming we don't go to Sydney) but after that i'm not sure what we would do :/. But we will find our way.

On an up, Bran has quite a few people fighting to get his contract renewed. He is well liked and a good worker, I just pray the people who divide the money will see how important his skills are to the school.

On another up (and to end this post), my MiL and I are going to check out a house tomorrow. It should be fun :).

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Physio part 3

I walked for an extra long time today (about an hour and a half >.>) to try and make up for the pizza we had last night. It was worth it though, we had pizza in celebration of not having to pay off that hospital bill! Yaaay! And, you know, me getting my medicare number, huzzah public health!

I also went to the physiotherapist. She said my leg/foot is getting stronger is was pleased with that and my core muscle strength improving. She also said not to be too concerned about the left leg stuff or the back stiffness unless my left leg goes really numb or i'm having constant sciatic pain. Beyond that she beat up my back (elbows, ow) and sent me on my way! Thats about it for my update :) my back is feeling much better, although still stiff around my tailbone. I have some new exercises to do before bed so i'm off.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Quick update

So once again i'm just going to do a quick update. I now have my medicare number, and after a million calls I no longer have a hospital bill! Huzzah! I may also be able to get the doctor consultation fee from the follow up appointment back.

On a not so less happy note, i'm a bit uncomfortable with my back/nerve stuff. My left (non-affected) leg and foot have had some weird stuff going on. I have also had lower back/hip pain on both sides, and that is a little bit concerning. If It get any worse i've been told to go to the ER. I'm also scheduled for another MRI in just to make sure everything is going alright.


Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Of rice and beans and soup

Today was another somewhat off day. My back had been feeling very stiff lately, and i'm not sure if I should be concerned or not. I tried calling the doctor, but apparently they were all too busy to call back :/. I know i'm not really their top priority, but it would take two minutes to call and tell me either i'm ok or I need to get another MRI. I also need to remember to print off things to apply for medicare.

On a different note, I made cuban beans a few days ago. They are healthy and delicious :D. I used the recipe from The New Vegetarian Epicure for everyday black beans

Black beans with rice and pineapple 

Today I added pineapple to mix it up a bit, very yum :). I also made a tasty veggie chowder based off of the one in The New Moosewood Cookbook. Also yummy. I should be set for lunch and dinner for most of the week. Maybe i'll put up a soup picture tomorrow. I really need to remember how awesome these cookbooks are, instead of getting my recipes off of the internet all the time (not that there is anything wrong with that!) 

On another sad note my lovely brand new big enamel covered cast iron casserole dish cracked! Well, the enamel on the inside did, luckily it has a lifetime warranty. Hopefully they will uphold it! Bran is bringing it back to the shop tomorrow. 

Well, now i'm off to watch Masterchef with my husband <3.

Of rice and beans and soup

Today was another somewhat off day. My back had been feeling very stiff lately, and i'm not sure if I should be concerned or not. I tried calling the doctor, but apparently they were all too busy to call back :/. I know i'm not really their top priority, but it would take two minutes to call and tell me either i'm ok or I need to get another MRI. I also need to remember to print off things to apply for medicare. 

On a different note, I made cuban beans a few days ago. They are healthy and delicious :D. I used the recipe from The New Vegetarian Epicure for everyday black beans

Black beans with rice and pineapple 

Today I added pineapple to mix it up a bit, very yum :). I also made a tasty veggie chowder based off of the one in The New Moosewood Cookbook. Also yummy. I should be set for lunch and dinner for most of the week. Maybe i'll put up a soup picture tomorrow. I really need to remember how awesome these cookbooks are, instead of getting my recipes off of the internet all the time (not that there is anything wrong with that!) 

On another sad note my lovely brand new big enamel covered cast iron casserole dish cracked! Well, the enamel on the inside did, luckily it has a lifetime warranty. Hopefully they will uphold it! Bran is bringing it back to the shop tomorrow. 

Well, now i'm off to watch Mastercheif 

Monday, 2 May 2011

Of Anniversaries and Meet-ups

I've had a busy few days, so lets start with saturday.

Saturday was mostly normal, other than I had made the huge effort (for me) of joining a meet-up group and making the decision to actually go to a meet-up. It is a Pagan meet up group, specifically for Pagans in Brisbane. It seemed like a mixed kind of group so I thought it might be nice to meet some new people. The last Pagan group I met up with was very nice, but a bit too energetic for me. Plus they had their own belief set which didn't fit with mine, so live and let live :). Anyway, after fretting about it for half a day, I was on my way. I had to travel to a suburb I hadn't been to before, but the bus driver was very nice and informed me what bus to take and how long it would take to get there. I also had my handy-dandy iphone, which had a map I can track the bus movement on (I would have gotten terribly lost at least a dozen times by now without it).

I ended up getting there a bit early, so took a walk around. There was a couple there who looked kind of witchy (I mean this with respect) but I was too shy to go talk to them (and they were too shy to talk to me XD). As someone else for the group arrived, they did ask if I was there for the meet-up group and we all went to start setting up.

Let me say this beforehand, i'm extremely shy and can be very awkward with people I don't know, so on the journey there I sent out a little prayer to whatever-is to help me overcome my shyness and really take advantage of such a good meeting situation. I really worked to speak up during Circle, I spoke up in the name of the animals lost in the floods and earthquakes, I called the Northern Corner, and I even asked if anyone wanted to get coffee after :). It's such a little thing, but i'm very proud of myself for speaking up and really making an effort to be involved. It ended up being a great time, the Circle was solemn, as it was Samhain and we were paying tribute to those who have passed, but the coffee after was fun and upbeat. Even on the way back I had a lively discussion with another person from the meet-up while on the train. I truly hope to meet up with everyone again :).

Sunday was May 1st, which is my husband's and my anniversary. This was our first year together as a married couple :). I'm very happy to be with Bran, and so thankful that he is such a kind and loving husband. We did have a little bump during the day where I flipped out and cried because I felt like Bran didn't really care about the landmark, he did, I was just being emotional (and maybe he was being just a little lazy, I love you Bran!) But that was solved with some talking and a very nice card Bran brought back for me while getting some nice wine :D.

Handfasting Cords

We originally were going to have a re-handfasting ceremony and have a reception with our friends that couldn't make it to the wedding, but financial constraints kept that from happening. It's alright though, we didn't need that kind of stress. Instead we had a picnic in the yard with Milo. It was a beautiful day, the temperature was just warm enough to not need a jacket. I made a special cake using the recipe for our wedding cake (with our wedding topper on it), Bran made our favourite toasted sandwiches. We had our Asti Riccadona  (neither of us drink wine very much, so it was a sweet bubbly for us!) in our wedding glasses, and had a little mini re-handfasting.

Our  Picnic

We talked about what we wanted to do in the next year, and what we wanted to work on. For me it's remembering that my way isn't the only way, and respecting that Bran and I have different things that we consider important. Bran's goal was to put more effort into doing things that are important to me, even if he doesn't typically focus on them. Both of us decided that we want to go on a trip for just the two of us some times this year, maybe to Melbourne. We also decided that instead of trading gifts we would add a charm to our handfasting cords. In keeping with the traditional gifts, we tried to get something to do with paper, and ended up finding a sweet little envelope (as in letter) charm. This was fitting for us personally as well as before we were physically together we would trade letters across the ocean. We put the cords over our hands, and rededicated ourself to each other, I pray that we shall have this same love and commitment for the rest of our lives :).

Handfasting Cords with charm

Handfasting cords with wedding glasses

Milo :)

Enjoying some down time

Our Handfasting cords safely wrapped up until next year

Today i'm going to update this thing, go for a walk and relax. See ya all tomorrow :).

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Happy Anniversary

It was my husband's and my 1 year anniversary of our wedding/handfasting today :). We had a bit of a bump, but overall it was a wonderful day and I am very happy to have such a wonderful man in my life. I took a few pictures, which I will update with tomorrow (no, really, this time I will actually tell you what is going on!) I've had kind of an off week(ish) so I haven't been putting pictures on here, but I really would like to do a proper update and mark this wonderful moment in Bran's and my life. So tomorrow i'll get some coffee and give this thing a big ol' update.

Saturday, 30 April 2011


Happy Samhain (sow-un or sow-en) readers! Tonight and tomorrow anyway. Tomorrow is also Bran and my 1 year anniversary :) i'm gonna make him a special treat (shhhh!) which I will type out tomorrow. I also went to a Pagan meet-up which I will also type about tomorrow as i'm tired after a good time.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Recovery -1

My LEFT foot has gone slightly numb :(. No pain just numb. I took some I ibuprofen and iced it bu if it isn't better by tomorrow I may have to go back to the ER.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Physio part 2

Today was mostly spent resting and waiting to go to the physiotherapist. I haven't been walking as much as I should have, so my back was more sore than it had been in a while. I did call my Father and had a nice chat in between waiting and trying not to move around too much. When I did get to the physio, surprise, she said I need to make sure to be walking. But she didn't seem surprised that I hadn't been over the easter vacation.

Anyway, it turns out my knee is more messed up than previously though. I now have to build on the muscle on my inner thigh by doing squats against a wall. I'm doing this because she thinks the muscles on the outside of my leg are getting too strained and pulling my knee cap out of place o.O.  This of course is more irritated as i'm trying to walk normally (to prevent my hip from tightening up and hurting) but failing because my foot is still dropping. Apparently the muscles in my leg really aren't up to par :( she also said no yoga until I build up more strength. Well, i'm glad to be getting things done at the same time at least! Hopefully i'll be all good come june 10th, when Bob and Keri are coming to visit for 10 days :D.

I also have a mild case of tennis elbow apparently. I'm to stretch my arm a few times a day as well as the leg stretches, foot lifts, wall squats, and exercises I was given at the hospital. I will get better! At least I don't have to worry about going back to work :p.

On another lighter note, Bran and I are back to getting the Foodconnect boxes. Bran brought home a wonderful assortment of colourful fruits and veggies for us to eat this week. I just hope we can get through it all! If not then i'll make some soup from the veggies and maybe a crisp from the fruits :).

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Stupid Mistakes

Ever notice that you've done something stupid? Like, really stupid, not forgot to put soap in the washer stupid. Well I just discovered today that the bridging visa i'm on allows for me to be on medicare. Medicare is the public health system in Australia, as opposed to medicare in America which is for low income families in need. After going through all that crap at the hospital, I was really wishing I was in the medicare system, but I thought I couldn't be until I had my proper visa. Thats what you get for not reading EVERYTHING.

For a while today, I was angry that no one had told me I could be on medicare. All the phone calls I made to immigration, the meetings i've had, everyone I talked to at the hospital...But then it occurred to me that it really was completely my fault. If I had paid just a bit more attention I would have known lat year :(.

Other than that I found out my residency visa could take another year to process as there is a back log. Ugh.

Well, thats been my day. I'm a bit grumpy if you can't tell. But hopefully tomorrow will bring some good news, eh?

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Conversing and cookies

Once more, the boys were over to watch football with Bran. What is different this time, is that Bharita came over with Phil and I had someone to talk to :). She is such a lovely person! I also made some yummy butter cookies, which I will post the recipe to tomorrow. As for right now i'm going to get ready for bed. Bran is back to work tomorrow, so i'll post a longer post tomorrow.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Football and really bad hot cross buns

Not too much to update on again. Bran and his buddies have been watching football and playing Bran's newest video game (also football). I've been in our room with the laptop pretty much all day. We had some really awful hot cross buns from Brumby's. They taste like some fake raspberry flavouring was added :/ neither Bran nor I liked them and ended up throwing them out (which made me a little sad, but these aren't things I want anyone else eating either). Other than that we'll just have to see what tomorrow brings.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Happy Easter

Happy Easter :). Bran and I had another quiet day at home eating junk and watching the Matrix movies. One of these days i'll actually update more.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Not much goin' on

Bran and I stayed home today and got most of the housework done. Other than that, Bran's football team won :) huzzah!

Friday, 22 April 2011

little post

I'm very tired right now. It's been a busy day of walking, seeing Sarah and Zoe, and feeling a bit sad. I'll update later.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Starting posts and fake snow

I never really know how to start these post, ever notice that? Usually I either start with "I" or "So". Hm >.>. Ah well. So how are all of you lovely (2?) readers doing? Hopefully well :). As for myself, i'm doing pretty well considering how I was a week ago. It's really been such an improvement since I started on the anti-inflammitories. I still have a bit of pain in my leg, and some numbness. But it seems less numb? Plus my ankle is stronger than it was for sure. I'm sure to make a full recovery :).

A good chunk of my day today was spent shopping. I went through the two supermarkets at Brookside, and then went to the nearest organic store to compare prices. For the most part the supermarket organic things are less expensive, with the exception of the items available in bulk at the organic store. With that they have very good prices. I've recently started using rapadura, which is unprocessed dehydrated sugar cane juice. As opposed to white sugar which is highly processed and bleached or even raw sugar, which is less processed but still goes through most of it. Or brown sugar, which is actually white sugar with molasses added back in o.O (molasses is a by-product of sugar processing). I also got some organic whole wheat flour for $3.90 a kilo, which is about as inexpensive as i've seen it.

I was able to take a look at my little mini-garden today (we have basil, mint, oregano and some cherry tomato plants :) not much but it's a start). Bran helped me get some steaks on the tomato pot so hopefully they will actually work out!  The basil and mint are doing well enough, except for something is eating the mint o.O I though not many pests liked mint? It's hanging in there though. The basil is going pretty crazy. I've been trying to be all trendy and keep it short and bushy. Boy is it taking off! I'd take pictures but it's dark outside right now. The oregano on the other hand isn't doing much of anything. Maybe it's just a slow growing herb? I wouldn't know. It hasn't died though, so i'm happy.

Bran and I also had an adventure of cleaning out the freezer (of frost, not of food). Our fridge is third hand, and really doesn't work so well. The freezer builds up ice like crazy, but we don't really want to defrost it all the time, so Bran scraped out most of the frost into a bowl. Instead of just dumping it down the sink though, Milo and I went outside and had fun playing with the "snow". Though Milo was mostly just confused as he has never seen snow and is in fact a dog. It was cute anyway :).

I also made some yummy curry (i'll take a pic tomorrow) and made breakfast cake from the Heavenly Homemakers. They have such great, wholesome recipes :). I'm afraid I messed up a bit and it ended up more of a muffin texture than a cake texture, but still yummy.

Well, that's my update for today. I'll try and actually post up some pictures tomorrow for ya <3 byebye.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Faith and Physio

I am feeling somewhat better after a trip to the physiotherapist :). She didn't really tell em anything new, but she gave me some more stretches to do and a strengthening exercise for my foot and one for my knee. She also did something called trigger point activation on my hip (where the muscles had gotten painfully tight). Basically she found a really hard spot, and pushed her elbow into it! Gods did it hurt, but it felt so much better afterward. I walked out with a smile and an appointment for next week!

On a completely different note, i've joined another Pagan meet up group. I had been to one Pagan meet up before, but this particular covent were a bit too rambunctious for me. This one seems more like solitaries getting together to practice, which suits me well enough. I've always struggled with what I believe and what kind of path I should take. I was raised very loosely Christian, but found more in nature than I ever did in church. At around 12 or 13 I started reading some books on Wicca that my sister had gotten, and really enjoyed the idea of having a feminine and masculine, of loving nature and being able to put your energy into the universe to seek what you need. Although at the time I had no idea what kind of path this would bring me on.

Since I could really form the thoughts I have always believed in a power in nature, and a universal flow. I believe that if you put forth energy, you are sure to get something in return (in a similar way to people believing that if you seek God, he will provide what you need). I believe that prayer and spellwork are the same, just in different forms. I have a hard time thinking about an actual all knowing being in the sky, whether Pagan, Christian, Jewish or any other sort. I do believe in Otherworlds, where beings that are not human are (angels in Heaven? Similar.)

Anyway, I've been practicing off and on for around 10 years. I tend to go through a few months of heavy meditation/spellwork and then months and months of not being able to do it. I think a big part of that is that I don't have a physical community to exchange ideas with (though hopefully that will be changing) but also that I have such a mash up of ideas, it makes it hard to really try and follow one path. I have questioned my faith numerous times, but it always comes back to my core beliefs in nature, energy and the universal flow of things. There is still so much I don't know, i'm really looking forward to meeting some like-minded people. I don't know if i'm willing to wear the pentagram again, as i'm not sure that really represents me, but I know in my heart that i'm facing in the right direction.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Think i'll go for a walk today

It is my goal to walk for an hour every day. Once I am allowed to start running, my new goal will be to run for a half hour straight. Of course, that wont happen right away, but that is my goal. I was able to walk around for the better part of an hour and a half (I did have to take a few little rests) today, which is really good :). Walking is apparently the best thing to do after a microdiscectomy, not to mention of course it's good for your health. The only bad thing is when you are walking around, you may have some random guy in a car stop and say something mean. Which happened. Which made me feel bad :(. But then I came home to my happy puppy, and watched some Dr. Phil, and that helped.

Poor Bran came home sick today as well :(. I think he might have a bit of a head cold maybe, he was very sneezy this morning and had a massive headache when he got home. I hope he feels better soon. He even took medicine! He hates doing that XD.

Beyond that not much has happened. I have an appointment with the physiotherapist tomorrow, so i'll report on that then.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Tofu hot dogs and fluffy cold dogs

So I was able to sleep without the endone, because the anti-inflammatories are working so well :). I still woke up more than on the endone, but i'm happy not to be taking more medicine than needed. I'm also only taking 4 infamac pills a day (it's about the same as taking 4 ibuprofen a day). So I think that is going very well. I was able to walk around Brookside (a little shopping center nearby) for about two hours. Granted with a few little rests, but just three days ago I could only barely walk to Brookside, let alone around it! I'm very happy with the improvement.

It was really cold and rainy today as well, so it was nice to be our and about for a bit. As soon as I got home I had to put on a sweatshirt and cuddle under a blanket with Milo. He is such a nice cuddle buddy. Speaking of dogs, I also have some yummy tofu dogs. They are really good as they have 9 grams of protein per dog, as about 100 calories. They are good for a quick little thing. I got them to go with the vegetarian chilli, but I ended up running out of chilli! I'll have to make some more. Mind you, it was full of veggies and healthy legumes, so it was a very healthy chilli and hot dog kick. Right? Kinda?

I'm actually planning on making some curry soon. I like that I can make a big pot of something and have lunch or dinner done for the week. It's even better if Bran actually eats it XD. Curry is a good one though. Bran likes potato curry, so I usually make potato and chickpea curry with whatever other veggies I have on hand (much to the dismay of Bran, who would rather have it be just potatoes I think!) We'll see how that goes though. Well, i'm off to bed then. Bye-bye.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Sunday, sunday, SUNDAY!

Not very much happened today. Bran went to his football game, and I had a quiet time at home. I have been feeling pretty homesick lately :(. But on a lighter note my leg felt much better today! Not 100%, but much better. Huzzah for anti-inflammatories! I was able to do some laundry and walk much easier. I also had a really huge craving for something peanut butter-y, so I made these quick little peanut butter balls.

Quick Peanut Butter Balls

Quick peanut butter balls

3 Tb peanut butter
1 Tb butter (softened)
3 heaped Tb powdered sugar (or until desired texture)
powdered chocolate

Mix first two ingredients together. Add powdered sugar until desired texture. Roll teaspoonfuls of mixture into balls, then roll in powdered chocolate. Refrigerate/freeze. Eat.
Makes about 6 balls.

Not exactly healthy, but oh so yummy <3. Now for a shower and bed.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Of losing weight and being crazy

I must lose weight. Not in that 'oh, I need to lose a few pounds to fit into my swimsuit' sort of way. Now, i'm not horribly overweight, i'm not morbidly obese, but I am overweight enough that my poor messed up back will be angrier than if I were lighter. Thus, in order to save myself from further herniated discs I must do what I can. Most importantly, lose weight. :/ Which isn't helped by my craving for chocolate chip cookies. I don't plan to completely overhaul my life about it, but I need to include more exercise and cut my portion sizes I think. Mostly the exercise, but it hopefully will be easier to do now that I will have less pain :), once i'm recovered anyway.

On a different note, I have some kind of skin issue between the middle and ring finger on my left hand. I've had to take off my wedding ring T.T. I actually went to the pharmacist and talked to them and now in addition to my endone, panadol, and inflamac (some kind of pharmacy-only anti-inflammitory) I have a cortisone cream -.-. It did make the rash go down, but I thought cortisone was a steroid and didn't actually adress the underlying problem? Thats what my vet told me when we moved here and we had been using a cortisone cream for Milo. It makes me wish I knew more about natural ways to deal with all this stuff. I mean, there was no choice but to get the surgery, but surely there is a natural way to deal with a little skin infection? Maybe some kind of tea tree oil ointment? Once I become a naturopath I shall know!

Speaking of medicine, i've been trying not to use the endone. Endone is a synthetic morphine, so really it's meant for pretty bad pain. Since I got home i've only been taking it at bed time to make sure I can sleep. When I saw the neurosurgeon he suggested I try to stop using it as it's pretty hard core (I guess? Didn't seem so to me, but I don''t know) so I haven't used it the past two nights, and guess what? I had trouble sleeping. I wasn't in a lot of pain per-se, it was more irritation from my leg/nerve. It just gets uncomfortable, and feels like I want to get up and move around. But of course i'm strapped into a brace and really should be sleeping. So tonight i'm going to take the endone again and see how much of a difference that makes. I really hope this wont become a problem :(.

On a related note, i've been looking for a good physiotherapist in Brisbane. It was suggested to me to see one to work on my numb foot/ strange way of walking with numb foot/ posture/ core strength. They are expensive though :/ but at the same time this isn't somewhere to try and save money either! You want a get a good, experienced person or you may end up worse off. I think i've found one right in the city, they seem to be a reasonable price and on their website it looks like they have dealt with herniated disc people before. I'll give it a go anyway :).

Also, Bob and Keri are going to visit in june!!! So exciting! Bran and I are are a strict budget to save up money to meet with them in Sydney and have a little vacation for three days, then back up to Brisbane where we will play host. They will be here for about 10 days so we have to be good hosts and figure out fun things to do, beyond the obligatory petting a kangaroo and eating timtams. I should be all recovered (mostly at least) by then, so it will be a lot of fun :).

Friday, 15 April 2011

Short stack

I had a lot of trouble sleeping last night, so i'll make this post short and sweet. Pain is slightly better with help from anti-inflammatories. I made granola bars with leftover stale granola and frozen christmas chocolate. We took Milo to the dog park. Leftover pizza for dinner. I have a tummy ache :( too many granola bars.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Follow up with the neurosurgeon

I went to the neurosurgeon today to get a follow up on how everything in my back is healing. He seemed a little concerned about the increase of pain, but otherwise was pleased with how my foot is going. He also said I could take ibuprofen and other anti-inflammitories, which after taking made my leg feel a bit better :p. Anyway, I'll type more tomorrow about that adventure.

P.s. Getting staples out HURTS! I sugest stitches rather than staples :(.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Simple things

I think recovery is going alright. I was able to do a bit more today, so other than the pain in my leg i'm pretty happy. I am still concerned that the nerve damage wont heal, but if that is the worst case then I think I can deal :). I did a bit of laundry today (just some sheets) and while I can't carry the actual laundry basket, I was alright walking back and forth to hang them outside in the sun.

It's such a simple thing to hang sheets in the sun, but I felt so accomplished. I also made a pie crust that is soon to be an apple galette. I think i've mentioned it before, but I use the pie crust from the Angry Chicken cheat sheet, although I do a different filling :). We like our apple pie to be a bit on the spicy side. It's the baking and the basic homemaking skills that I think are hurting me not to do. For instance, there is no way I could knead bread with the way my back is right now, and making bread is one of my favourite things to do. The motion just would not be good. I also can't sweep the floor because that motion isn't good. I am able to do light cooking, as long as i'm not lifting anything heavy. Which leads me to chilli :D, yesterday I made my best chilli to date.

Homemade chilli

I added a bit of cocoa powder and a bit of dark chocolate (though next time i'll probably just use one or the other) and it really added to the flavour. Mostly my chilli is whatever veggies I have in the house along with kidney beans, an onion, garlic, bell pepper, and tomatoes in the form of tomato paste and diced tomatoes. And spices ;) yummy spices. I don't really follow a recipe, just kind of what i'm feeling like. For instance, usually I only add a tablespoon of tomato paste but this time I wanted it more tomato-y to balance the cocoa (which you can't really taste, it's more of a 'hm, I ponder what that is!' sort of thing) so I added the whole little can. I also boil my chilli down for a few hours so it's nice and thick. Perfect over rice or potatoes or just on it's own (or on a tofu dog, mmmm....). I made a whole lot, so I have some in the freezer too :).

I also had a great conversation with my sister Sarah today. I really miss my family right now. I'm thankful to have a wonderful husband, but I miss the support and the humor of my siblings especially. I'm reminded of the summer right before my Mum passed away when we were all living together. The siblings, my niece and I would stay up late in the kitchen laughing and chatting about many different things. It's a precious memory to me, especially because it's a bit difficult to have a good talk with anyone in my family from way over here. Quite often I feel like no one quite understands like my siblings. Maybe because we all came from the same childhood, or because we are all such good friends, or because we are all just a bit crazy :). I kind of wish I could get them all to move down here, but alas! I think the only two things that are calling me back to America are my family and the seasons being the way i'm used to (seasons are revered in the southern hemisphere. Christmas in summer and Halloween in spring don't really work for me :( ).

I'm off to see the neurosurgeon tomorrow for a check up, lets hope everything is healing well. I'll report tomorrow how everything goes. Until then, bye bye <3.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011


So I made chilli today, it's yummy. I'll write more about it tomorrow and post a picture. My leg is hurting more today, and i've been a bit fatigued so i'm going to go to bed early. Goodnight <3

Monday, 11 April 2011


So I picked up the scarf I had started knitting over a year ago (maybe two?!). I figure I should at least be useful when i'm not allowed to move much. Beyond that i'm going to make chilli tomorrow! Yummy, perfect now that the weather is getting colder. I can smell the chill in the air, it makes me happy and reminds me of wood stoves and halloween....even though it's the opposite time of year from halloween here...

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Milo and the dog park

Today has been very similar to other days for me. I'm still mostly on the couch/bed with my back being crazy. One fun thing we did do was walk to the dog park with Milo :). He's gone through some crazy sicknesses/injuries so it's been a while and it was so nice to see him playing with the other puppies. As for me it was the longest walk i've done since the surgery (it's about a 5 minute walk normally). It went alright. I was kind of afraid that one of the puppies would run into me, but I was fine. I was a bit sore when I got home.

Anyway, Milo was very sweet at the dog park :). He's finally grown out of the puppy phase where he harasses all the small dogs or tries to escape. He actually came when he was called!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Of football and housecleaning

We had company today! Bran's friends came over to watch football and play retro video games. A big part of why they came over was also to drink some home-brewed (sorta) beer that Bran helped make at this micro-brewery place as a team building exercise for work. I wasn't a very good hostess though, as I was laying on the bed being all broken.

I attempted a bit of housework today. I cleaned the sink, and hung up a little (very little) load of laundry (that was already half dry). Bran did all the rest <3 with only a little kibitzing from me. Today was not such a good day pain wise. My leg has felt both more numb and more painful than any other day since the surgery :( part of that might be that I slept on my side a lot last night, another part of that could be that I slept without my brace on. Bad, bad Emma! I'll be sure to be a good little recovering-herniated-disc-surgery-outpatient tonight. I also didn't take panadol right away, which may have also sent things a bit haywire, though i'm not sure how...

Other than that I spent most of the day on the bed watching anime and looking at facebook. Bran made be breakfast, lunch and dinner. He is such a good guy :). Hopefully tomorrow I can go for a little walk outside of the house and maybe cook something yummy. I need to find something to do for this upcoming week, or i'll be soooo bored.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Feeling not awesome

I'm feeling much more pain today. I guess maybe it's more irritation than pain. The little area are where my staples are is slightly infected :( it shouldn't be an issue, it's just really irritating and bothersome. Also my hip has been hurting more today. I'm hoping it starts to feel better or i'm going to have to call the doctor. I don't want to have to go back into the hospital. That thought makes me anxious. 

I've been trying not to complain too much. I'm very thankful that i'm not in a worse situation, I just wish I could be done with the pain. Even the endone (it's a synthetic morphine) i've been taking hasn't been helping as much. 

On a lighter note, Bran is making me roasted sweet potatoes. They are very yummy :). 

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Of staples and recovering

I'm feeling a little bit more down today. The staples in my back are irritating the skin and I somehow managed to get a bruise near them, so that whole area is a bit irritated and painful (not to mention the nerve pain). I miss my family. I don't have any close friends here, so i'm feeling a little bit lonely and home sick. I think what I really want is to talk to my mother, but that is regrettably not possible due to lung cancer taking her away back in 2007. It's times where i'm sick or really wanting advice when I miss her the most.

Beyond the staples and the nerve pain, I think i'm healing up alright. I feel like I have more strength in my right leg and foot, even if it's still partially numb. I have a picture of the risotto I made :)
Butternut pumpkin and cream cheese risotto

I tried to make it look pretty, but it is indeed risotto. Hopefully i'll be feeling a bit more up tomorrow!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Of risotto and girly things *FEMALE WARNING*

I'm going to talk about my menstrual cycle, so if you are squeamish about blood, bodily fluids, or womanly bits you may not want to read on.

So I started my day by quite suddenly realising I had started my period. That happens, oh, in your early teens or pre-teens when you first start and sometimes you get some blood spots on your sheets or pjs. Oh wait, i'm 22 o.O. The worst bit is that I had to get Bran to take the sheets downstairs and wash them -.-. Sorry hun. He is so good about that kind of stuff though, what a great guy <3. I think it was because I have been on pain meds, so I didn't get the cramps, or wake up like I normally would. Anyway, icky.

On a lighter note, I got to try out my menstrual cup! For those who don't know (most people probably) a menstrual cup is a little soft rubber (or silicone, or latex) cup, usually with a little stem, that is inserted into the vagina to catch menstrual blood. It is re-useable, comfortable, and had so much less waste than any other menstrual product that I can think of. You can also wear it easily for 12 hours without having to worry about leakage. Buuut, you have to be able to deal with your own blood and be very comfortable poking around in your vagina. This is my first time using such a product, but i'm pretty happy with it. It hasn't leaked at all, and though I had some initial trouble getting it out, once I got the hang of it, i've found it no more uncomfortable than tampons. I have a lunette which I believe is the only one you can get in Australia.

Anyway, thats my crazy eco-friendly-girly-gross out for the day. Sorry if it was too much information :D.

I also made pumpkin cream cheese risotto today. I wont bother putting up a recipe as I didn't really use one. Just made a basic risotto and added a small roasted butternut pumpkin (squash for the Americans) and about a third of a block of cream cheese. I'm having that along with some sourdough bread Bran brought home for dinner tonight, yum! Maybe i'll pretend i'm healthy and have a salad too >.>. I'll try and get a picture in tomorrow when I can move around a bit more.

Recovery is going well, I feel like I have a bit more strength in my legs, but the numbness and pain in my hip persists. I have a follow up appointment with the neurosurgeon in a week so we'll see what he says.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

One day into another

So today is very similar to yesterday in that I can't do a heck of a lot. I think my foot is a little better today, but i've had pain in my hip and around where I think the nerve connects into the spinal cord. That is understandable because of inflammation and blah de blah, it's just uncomfortable :(. Bran ended up staying home again and has been taking care of all of the heavy lifting type things. I was wrong about how much weight I should lift btw, it's 1 kilo (2.5 pounds) and not a few. So about how much a liter (or quart for people in America) of milk weighs. Huzzah for reading up on what doctors should have told me :/. Ah well. I'm thankful that i'm not in a worse situation.

On a different note, Bran and I made a cake yesterday :). It was from a mix, but we added some additional spices to make it a spice cake as opposed to a vanilla cake, and made a cream cheese frosting. Bran did all the mixing and clean up (huzzah!) and I did the measuring, so pretty fair deal right? XD. The frosting recipe is one I kinda made up using other frosting recipes as a base, though I don't measure so much as taste as I go.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 packet (225 g) cream cheese
1/4 c butter
2 c powdered sugar
1-2 tb milk
1/2 ts vanilla essence 
pinch salt

Beat room temp cream cheese and butter until well incorporated and soft. Add in salt and vanilla and mix. Add in 1/2 c sugar at a time until sweetened to taste. Mix in milk to desired consistency.

It's metric, but you can easily fiddle with it to use American measurements. 

Monday, 4 April 2011

Of hospitals and recovery *WARNING*

Here is a picture warning. They aren't very graphic but I am putting up pictures of my surgical scar and the tubes in my arm etc. I don't know how to put up a picture blind so if you don't want to see them then please don't read on.

Hospital tag on my wrist

The procedure that had to be done was called a microdiscectomy. Which basically means removing part/all of a disc that is for some reason putting pressure on one's spinal cord or nerves. For me it was a badly herniated disc that was pushing my spinal cord right out of place and putting pressure on the nerve that runs on the outside of my right leg. This caused pain and numbness down my right leg and on my right hip along with some back pain. Usually with a herniated disc they have you try other things first (physiotherapy, anti-inflamitories, hydrotherapy, etc.) but mine was so bad that they wanted to get it right away rather than risk further (or permanent) nerve damage.

It was scary to be told that they need to open up my spine and take out a huge chunk of disc :( especially because at this point they had given me some meds that made me a bit off the wall to begin with. There was the risk that something could go horribly wrong and I could lose the use of my legs, but the surgeon was very good in explaining that he has done this, and many more complicated procedures, often before and had never had a problem like that, and they put me into surgery pretty quickly so I didn't really have much time to think about it (not that there was a choice). I did think about running out of the hospital at one point, but by that time I had been readied for surgery, so I couldn't have even if I wanted to.

After that I was taken up to a little room, and waited about an hour for them to get ready and finish up another emergency situation. Then I was wheeled into the operating theatre, given and injection, told I might be lightheaded and directly passed out. There was no 'ok, now take a deep breath and count to three' I was just out! Fine with me :). I woke up in recovery where they were putting on teds (sort of knee high sock-tights) and these straps on my legs that inflated and help with circulation. I talked to the nurses (I think they were nurses) a bit asking what the teds and the straps were (I was pretty out of it) and took some panadol (it's an over the counter pain med). Then I was out again. I woke up later on when I was in the ward where a very nice nurse had to take my vitals every half hour. It wasn't too bad though since I would fall asleep right after again. I think after that I woke up around 7:30 am on the 31st when they were giving out breakfast.

Later on Bran visited and brought me coffee and cookies :)

yummy cookies

They were yummy, although I didn't eat many as I wasn't very hungry while there. Later on Sarah (MiL) brought me some timtams (Bran stole those), mini-snickers(I'm still snacking on these), and flowers. 

Flowers from Sarah

I was able to walk with a walker when the physiotherapist visited, but the doctor wouldn't send me home yet. Nor would they take out the catheter! Gods, the catheter! Worst feeling ever. That was more painful than my back, or my legs, or anything really. I just wanted it out!

Guh, i'm sure none of you want to hear about this, but it really was the worst bit about being in the hospital. For anyone who doesn't know, the type of catheter i'm talking about is the one that goes up your urethra and into your bladder to continuously drain the urine. There isn't a choice in the matter, it drains it. How it works is there is a little tube that they put up there, and a small balloon that they fill with saline so it wont come out. It was extremely irritating to my urethra and all the areas around it, and to my bladder which was not so happy to have a tube and little balloon in there. And since people were poking my legs all the time to check on the numbness it was accidentally tugged. A LOT! I know they were trying to be careful of it, but it was just awful! I was so thankful when they finally took it out on the second day. 

I was also having odd readings on my heart when they were taking vitals. One of the doctors had me hooked up to a heart monitor dealy for a bit, but apparently everything was normal as I never heard back from them. 

hospital picture

Which leads me to day two of the hospital stay. 

The physiotherapists visited me pretty early on, and I was able to get up on my own (log rolling FTW) I used the walker for a little bit, but could walk without it easily. They took me to their gym to make sure I could do stairs and pretty much said I was fine to go home. They gave me a sheet of stretches and exercises to do and said I should visit a physio once or twice after a few weeks just to make sure i'm doing alright. They were so nice and helpful :) I was very happy with them. 

It took a long time for the doctor to come and visit. It wouldn't have been that big of a deal but I was pretty much right to go home, and they couldn't take the catheter out without the doctors permission >.<! I also had to wait to get the tubes out of my arms. I had one in the crook of my arm that was put in place pre-surgery and another that was put in my wrist during. They had to add the second one because I was laying on my stomach for the surgery and needed one they could access. 

tube in my wrist (and breakfast in the back round)

But the doctor did eventually visit (he had like, 116 patients so I understand, but it was still bothersome :( ). He got to me at about 3 pm and said I was basically good to go. Then left. I bet the nurses were so happy he finally came as I had been harassing them all day about seeing him >.> they were thankfully very understanding. Once the catheter came out, I got dressed in my own clothes and waited to get the release papers. Once I got those at about 4:30 pm, Sarah (MiL) came and helped me get meds, and a cab, and I was homeward bound!

I was SO thankful to be home. Bran has been wonderful through all of this <3. I think I had some tofu and pretty much went to bed. I don't remember much after getting home.

On saturday, sunday and today I pretty much did little walks around the house, got Bran to mostly cook and clean up for me, and rested (I've watched a lot of stuff on the laptop). I'm not allowed to lift things that are heavier that a few kilos (so, like nothing heavier than 5 pounds). I can bend over, but need to be careful. Mostly I just have a stiff back and my foot and part of my leg are still numb. And I get tired easily. I also had Bran take a pic of my staples and scar so I could actually see how big it was (and thus stop poking it blindly).

Scar on back, maybe 3" long

So beyond that i'm worried about potentially permanent nerve damage for my foot/leg, but so so thankful that it all went well and that there isn't any more damage. We were able to get it relatively straight away, so i'm hopeful that everything will heal up within a month :).