Monday, May 31, 2010
So, it is with more than extreme excitement when I inform you that THE HUNT IS OVER!!
We were at the markets today and I was lamenting, yet again, how we don't have a couch yet after hearing of the steal someone got at Lifeline (thrift store) on a really nice lounge set. Then they told me that the family who owned a popular local corner store has sold up for a cool $1.5 mil. so they're selling everything they can at a garage sale this weekend and moving to Townsville. They mentioned that there was a huge chocolate brown (EEEK! the color I want!) lounge for $800. We promptly abandoned the markets and drove straight to the garage sale hoping against hope it was still there.
When we pulled up, we had every intention of trying to talk them down to $500; after all, they'd been at it since Friday arve and still hadn't sold the thing and we'd hoped we could score a deal. We also hoped there wasn't something horribly wrong with it! When I sat down on it, I was blown away by how soft and perfectly squishy it was. I was also blown away that it wasn't micro-suede after all but genuine suede leather. And, even though it's more modern that what I would pay full-price for, I feel like it's the happy medium between the modular and La-Z-Boy style extremes I'd seen in all the stores and people's homes. It's a silky soft over-stuffed masterpeice made all the better by the fact that it's mine. :) On top of THAT, two overstuffed arm-chairs were included in the price! (As a reference, you'd pay at least $4000 for a similar set in stores, no exaggeration.) We were sold right on the spot and I giggled and clapped all the way home!
We came into some difficulties after they delivered it to our house and realized perhaps why it hadn't sold yet....others who posessed greater forsight than with which we were blessed had most probably measured the couch ahead of time and learned how truly enormous it is and that it simply would not fit through their doorway no matter how amazing it is. We sure learned that the hard way! We ended up having to lift it through the window.
Now, pushing it through the window probably sounds pretty simple to those of you who live in your average home where the base of the windows are all but 6 inches from the ground...however, we live in what's known around these parts as a "low set" which means our floor is a good 4-4.5 feet off the ground. On top of that, the base of all our windows are fitted with louvers meaning that the base of the actual window itself is a good 7-7.5 ft from the ground. We (and by we I mean Chris) had to lift this couch 7.5 ft off the ground, over his head and through the window. First he took the window completely out of the pane which I thought was pretty cool and then lifted the whole fricken couch over his head (it's huge y'all, it's at least 200 lbs) while I guided it into the house from upstairs. The couch was 34 inches wide and the window was 34.5" so it was a pretty tight squeeze to boot.... talk about team building!
Here is Petra checking out one of the chairs for the first time. :) (btw, I glued her first set of claw covers on in honor of her trying to scratch the couch and learned she is WAY patient with them which is super exciting for us!)
The chairs themselves are humongous. Each one is about equal to half of the couch, which is also humongous, and our house is pretty small as far as houses go....so we have a space issue. The solution is to move the tv and entertainment center (you won't understand the details of where unless you've been in our house so I'll skip 'em for you ;) ) but that raises the issue of the satellite cable being too short to reach where I want to move the tv...so we gotta find a longer cable. So, for the moment, our living room is very crowded and off-balance until we get that cable....but I still love it. Our house feels SO much more homey now, for the first time.
I've noticed a few signs of wear on the couch that I didn't notice before, like a few spots where the suede has gone shiny I guess due to friction or oils from people's hands. This is only on the seams of the arm-rests of the chairs though, the rest of it is perfect! I googled it and it looks like you can bring the nap back up on suede with a special brush....so I'll need to get one of those. I can't BELIEVE we have a leather couch. SQUUUEEEEEE!!!!!
In closing, this is what our $800 could have bought us at the cheapest shop in town:
Not bad, but not leather, a fraction of the size and no way could it be this soooooft! I want to live in my couch. :)
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I am coming to DFW in 10 days...last I checked it was 50 something, so time really does fly! I should probably unpack from January if I'm going to have to re-pack again in a few days. (yes I haven't unpacked. my suitcases are still spilling clothes....) This is going to be the first trip in a long time with NO visa or passport worries or dramas. I'm already good to go! I know exactly where my Passport is and all my domestic flights are booked! I totally forgot to book from Mackay to Brisbane last time and had to do it the day before....the only open seats were business class. Needless to say it was a REALLY expensive mistake that I thankfully haven't repeated. :) Hopefully the travel this time of year will be a bit of a non-event.... It doesn't really feel like I'm leaving yet, even though it's next week. I'm excited!
I haven't made a fashion post in a while, so I just have to dote on Australian fashion for a minute. It is so COOL. Well, most of it anyways. ;) Australian designers seem to take a lot more risks when it comes to translating runway trends into the ready-to-wear market. For instance, big shoulders are back in a big way...so an Australian ready-to-wear designer might but out a top with a puffed shoulder and call it a day. The Australian designer creates a structured top with a stiff angular shoulder mirroring the couture that inspired it.... more risky, but because everyone here jumps on the trend bandwagon like there's no tomorrow, it works. Granted, none of the cool stuff comes in my size at the moment as most labels only go up to an AU 14 (US 8/10) but I'd like to share some of the labels with you anyways. Just because they deserve it. ;) I love all the embellishments; fashion here is dripping with studs, sequins, beads and rhinestones. I LOVE it! Some of it is SO 80's it's almost funny, but I actually like the shoulder pad look. Laugh if you must because I know it's a trend that will be awesomely bad in good time...but for now it's cool. Here's some eye candy. :)
I love all those embellishments! If you see anything similar that comes in bigger sizes, point me that way. :)
Monday, May 24, 2010
For anyone who doesn't know, I have ADD. I was diagnosed at 17 and I remember the immense amount of relief I felt when I found out...I would get so frustrated before that I just couldn't seem to remember the simplest things. I was constantly losing things and had several very expensive belongings stolen after forgetting to lock my locker or leaving them behind on a bench. I felt broken; it was infuriating and exhausting. I was on medication for a year or so, but gave up on it after I graduated because it made me feel so sick all the time. For me it was enough to just know that there was a reason for my chronic scatterbrain, I wasn't just chronically lazy after all, and I moved on from there.
It's 5 years later and I haven't thought much about it since then...until now. I knew that ADHD affected my schoolwork, but didn't think I had to worry much about it now that I'm out of school. Out of curiousity, I googled the symptoms again today. I heard that some people outgrow it so I was just curious if I had many symptoms now...only, when I read the checklist, it was like the story of my life currently. I realized today that ADD is still affecting my life, and severly so. It's really affecting my relationships in a negative way due to my apparant inability to remember plans, remember to charge my phone or check my messages, my chronic procastination...just all of it. I also realized that the reason Chris and I don't have any problems because of my ADD is because he most definately has it too. Because of this our home is in a constant state of chaos. Everything is always a mess, both of us have a lot of trouble remembering important appointments and, if it wasn't for automatic online bill pay, we'd probably be in a lot of trouble on that front as well.
Even though, with the help of journaling and my amazing mother to bounce thoughts off of, I've come up with a lot of tools over the years to overcome the extent to which ADD affects my life. One of the biggest things that helped organization and time-management-wise was having a routine, and a familiarity with my surroundings. Even if my room appeared to be chaos, I still knew exactly where most things were because I had my own system. I knew exactly how long it took to drive most places, especially work-places, and had my morning routine down to a science. My friends and family understood and accepted me in all my scatteredness and of course living with mom meant that, when it came to the really serious stuff, I'd never forget and always be on time.
But here I am. I'm in my first house and so the mess is no longer confined to my bedroom. It's everywhere. Worse is that we feel the need to keep up an appearance of normalcy when guests visit so we throw most of the mess in the front of the house into boxes in the study, everything in the guest room or on the bathroom counter gets shoved into drawers and all incoming mail gets thrown wherever is most convenient at the moment before being lost forever at the bottom of a box of junk when someone comes to visit. This rotating mess means we never know where anything is and is where "organized chaos" just becomes chaos. I don't have my mom to remind me of important engagements anymore. I bought a PDA which helped for a while....if only I could remember to charge it. ;) I don't know how long it takes to get anywhere which makes me rely on Chris whose time-management is even worse than mine...so we are always at least 15 minutes late to absolutely everything. Or worse we think it's from 9:30-10:30 when it's from 9-10 so we end up showing up in the last 15 minutes...I procrastinate painfully, about stupid things. Like grocery shopping. Or watering the plants. My library books are 6 months overdue. And most of the time, I don't remember those "stupid things" at all...which leaves me in a constant state of "d'oh!" if you get my meaning. I even procrastinate blogging. All of it has escalated to an embarrassing extent.
I get so embarrassed that I forgot to return this friend's book I borrowed 3 months ago, or to return that friend's call/text/email or worse get the dreaded "where are you?" text alerting me that I forgot to set an alarm (or forgot them altogether) when I'm still in bed. I am mortified that we are completely incapable, no matter how early we start, of being on time to anything EVER. I feel so irresponsible. On top of that, I can speak REALLY impulsively and even though I would NEVER say anything I couldn't handle someone saying to me, this impulsiveness disallows me to consider how the person I'm speaking to might handle what I've said and not everyone shares my perception, you know? On the way home from every single social engagement, I have at least one--if not five-- impulsive statement(s) to dwell on that make me cringe. Have I no discretion? No control? I wonder how long it is before my friends lose patience with me.
I found this website that was really reassuring for me. One of the things I REALLY appreciated was the "Myths/Facts" section:
I feel SO much better, because I kind of believed in some of those myths. Especially the part about a lack of willpower. I still feel SO frustrated with myself that if I *really* wanted to, I could focus on anything and remember things. I also felt a bit self-conscious even mentioning ADD to people because a lot of people don't believe in it and do say things like "doesn't everyone? ::chuckle::" So yeah, I guess a lot of people do have some ADD symptoms, but my life and my relationships are strongly affected by mine and always have been.
I know that the only way to overcome this is to organize my life. I know that when I create and force structure, that things go really well. Keeping lists is one of my major tools, I have to write absolutely everything down if I don't want to forget. I wish they had a Container Store here or something similar because I think that, when it comes to the mess, if everything had its place, its label, its drawer, its caddy, I think we would stay so much more organized. Right now, and I am not exaggerating, only about 10 items of our clothing (nice things that we never wear) are hanging in the wardrobe and every other item of clothing is laying in a wad on a table or the floor. Every single thing. Organizing a mess is a physical tangible thing that I can do. But...I honestly don't know what to do about the forgetfulness, or the procrastination, or my propensity to start projects I never finish. I'm scared to go on medication again. I didn't like the side effects... that website has a lot of self-help resources though so I should try that. I'd love if we could bring in an ADD coach or personal organizer to help us get off on the right foot...but maybe, with diligance and more journaling I can manage this thing better on my own...
I worry that friends and acquaintances and my in-laws wouldn't understand or even accept ADD as a reason for our irresponsible habits, or would view it as a cop out for things full under our control. ::sigh:: Hopefully the resources I've found today will help it become more of a non-issue so we don't even have to bring it up.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
My weekend was good and bad. It was good because I got to go to a Body Shop party in Sarina and order nice smelly smellies and eat food and talk to Ash about life and love and the pursuit of happiness....but it was bad because I was supposed to go to the races FOR THE FIRST TIME on Saturday and was really excited about it....but I woke up feeling more exhausted than I had in years with a pounding headache and nausea....and I ended up sleeping in and missing out. :( It was for the best though, as I would have had a hard time making the drive home as early as I needed to (it's a 2.5 hr drive) and I would have been in the WORST mood. I felt ugly as I had the first two mega-zits I've had in over a YEAR (yes, no zits for a year. dunno what I did to deserve that!) and it was the first day of AF. (sorry guys, if any guys actually read this. heh.) It took me until today to recover...after 14 hours of straight sleep. But I'm feeling better, really. Not 100%, but better.
Chris downloaded a game for me called Blueberry Garden and I played a lot of that. I already finished it, but it was still fun even though it was short. It was like a beautiful work of art...I've never played a game like that. I loved it. :)
I've also been watching all 6 seasons of Sex and the City before the premier of SATC2 next weekend. I've seen probably half of the re-run episodes since I saw the movie back...well back whenver that was. lol I wanted to try and see the new movie next weekend...but I have to choose between that or the giant Sarina garage sale this coming Sunday because I can't miss 2 weeks of church...and I REALLY want a couch! I think my couch could be at this garage sale... Sarina has an annual sale every year where everyone has a sale on the same day. SO people pretty much save up all their stuff all year long and then they sign up to be put on a map and you just drive around and buy stuff. I really really want a couch. :( BUT Chris is leading worship at church that Sunday and I don't want to miss that either. Ugh. I don't know.... I'll figure something out.
In other news it was FREEZING cold yesterday! Okay, not freezing...like 62. But with rain and wind! That's cold by m'bah standards. It's been kind of cold all week...I'm loving it! I'm not looking forward to the nasty weather that is Texas in June, but my fam. is worth it so I will enjoy the chilly while it lasts. :)
I have my last dentist appt. in Sarina at 10 am tomorrow. I really don't want to drive in there and then drive alllll the way back again! For those of you in DFW, it's like driving all the way to Waco (with some traffic) and back again just for a dentist appt....blehhh. That's why I was planning on just staying the weekend. But then I was going to come home again for the races.... on Saturday...but then I didn't even go to the races but had to go home anyways because I didn't bring any more clothes. haha! I could have stayed, but it didn't feel right to stay all that time at Ashleigh's without fair warning. Don't wanna overstay my welcome. ;) Maybe I'll just stay at the beach and come home Wednesday morning.... ::sigh:: that just seems stupid though. To spend an extra day there just because I don't feel like driving home. Ah well.
Communications was something that sounded like a lot of fun, but the career path was more limited. Business communications includes a lot of business related course work so that, even if I don't end up a communications coordinator, I could still be a good fit for other positions. I'd really love to go into the marketing if I can, and this degree is perfect for that. It would also come in really handy if Chris's show takes off, so that I could successfully be his manager. I've also always thought of opening my own business, and I think that this would give a good background to understand what I'm getting myself into and it wouldn't be hard to take a couple courses later on in business management if I decide to go that route.
I'm trying to be practical for once and just do something that will make money and get me employment in any town or city. I still want to do hairdressing, but I don't know how long it's going to be before I'll start an apprenticeship so I just need to get started doing something for myself in the mean time. I just want to move forward with my life, I'm tired of sitting around and doing NOTHING. bleh.
The dentist never called btw. SO I guess I don't have that job... Kind of why I decided I need to just get started with school. In order for this to work I have to stay focused. It'll be hard for me, but as long as I stay organized (don't laugh...I can be organized if I work my butt off :P) it should be alright.
Another more specific degree I'm looking at (that would make a LOT of money if we stayed in this region) is the "Bachelor of Applied Social Science (Human Resource Management)" It also looks really interesting. It's essentially a sociology degree with a few HR courses slapped on the end...so I think I'd be a Sociology major with a minor in HR...if I'm understanding that correctly. I dunno. I like the looks of this degree better than the other, but I don't have Ashleigh to walk me through the course work on this one so I don't know if it's the right degree for what I want to do. I know HR managers and directors do REALLY well financially and sociology has always fascinated me. I already have 3 sociology courses from UNT so I'd have almost a full semester done if I go this route. Dunno...it's all up in the air. I just need to talk to an advisor I think.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
My life here has gotten easier lately. I have made some new friends and am finally settling in to our home. Chris and I have built a routine and I'm growing to accept rather than despise all those things that are different. It used to be that I grasped at any excuse or reason for us to move back to Texas one day...and then it was "well, if I have to be here, why can't we move to the city." And then I realized that moving to the city would mean sacrificing the support system we'd built here in the Mackay region and starting all over again...and I found that I could actually be quite happy settling down in Sarina.
So which is it? It feels like no one place is a perfect fit.
Reasons for The City:
- I know that in order for me to get a degree and for Chris to pursue radio full-time we'd have to move to a city someplace....unless some unusually convenient circumstances popped up.
- Properties in the suburbs are much more affordable than in the Mackay region
- Convenience factor. Our kids would have every resource imaginable right at their fingertips, most state resources are centralized in the capital cities.
- Unless we moved to Brissy, we wouldn't actually know anyone in any cities. We'd have to start over again. (BIG con.)
- Too many distractions.
- All of my family is there, including most extended family. BIG PRO.
- I'm familiar with the culture, the system, the politics, all of it. BIG PRO.
- Cost of living is exponentially more affordable. i.e. If we bought a house there and paid it off while on Chris's current salary, it could easily be paid in full within 5 years. Less if I get full-time work. That would just be impossible with any and every property here unless we lived on baked beans and tinned spaghetti. ;) You can feed a family of 4 on under $100/wk where we struggle to do less than $150 for 2 people here. (rarely do)
- Education is valued far and above Australian standards. This is more important to me than it is to Chris and I think that's just my inability to shrug off my culture than anything else. You don't really *need* the same degree of education in Australia as you do in the USA, but I can't move past how low the standards are. It's shocking to me!
- My credit score is horrendous. If we planned on moving, we'd have to mortgage through an Australian bank or we wouldn't stand a chance. We'd have to set up a plan so our assets by the time we moved would cash in to buy at least one family car (shouldn't be a prob if we sell our Aussie cars and buy in the states...but still a con.)
- Chris would have to start all over. Everything that makes it hard for me to live in Aus. would make it hard for him to live in DFW. He'd have to find new employment before we could even think of moving and we don't even know how that would begin to work. BIG CON.
- The health care system is crap compared to Australia. We have the security here of knowing that if anything was to happen to one of us or our children that it wouldn't be a financial burden, I don't know if that will ever be true in the USA. This is a BIG con for Chris that he can't move past at the moment. We both definitely like the form of government here better than the USA.
- The economy in the U.S. is really unstable right now. No job is safe and that's an environment we don't really want to be a part of. Australia's managed to escape this whole global financial crisis unscathed thus-far and it feels a bit reckless to leave that security on a gamble.
- We would be near most of Chris's closest friends and some of his family. His parents would be about 2 hrs away (considered close by Aussie standards. ;) ) My closest friend in Oz, Ashleigh, would be right down the road. If I have to have babies in Oz away from my Mom and sisters, I want to be as close to Ashleigh as possible. She's a super mom and super friend and I get really excited thinking about our babies playing together. :) That support system is invaluable!
- It is only 25-30 minutes outside Mackay and Mackay is growing fast. It will have most of the convenience we could ever want in a city, while living in Sarina would give us the benefits and culture of a small town. It's the best of both worlds. :)
- I always wanted to settle down on a block of land in a country-style home. This would be living my dream. :)
- If the going got rough financially, Chris could always get a job in the mines short-term while we worked our way out of that rough patch.
- We have no idea where either of us would work at this point. Chris wants a full-time job in radio which, in theory, could be done from home or by renting studio time at a local station. Especially if his show was formatted in similar way to what it is now. We just don't know how possible that would be financially at this point. In the mean time he would still have to work as an electrician and he's not really very excited at the prospect of doing that forever.
- There are no universities nearby. This affects both me and our kids because they'll inevitably have to move away to go to uni and statistics say they won't be coming back. :( Most kids who go to uni. end up moving away to whatever capital city they did uni. in. It's the way of the world here and I hate the idea of that. I'd also be forced to get a degree online which isn't impossible or anything, it would just be REALLY difficult for a person with my traits to stay motivated with online classes. I'd just have to make it work of course, but it's def. a con.
Those are my thoughts. The common denominator between the 3 is employment, where would we work? And my degree. So, I think I should just suck it up and try taking some classes online rather than just assuming I would fail at it because erasing that factor from everything would make the choice a lot easier in the long run of things.
I think I'm scared to move to DFW because I'd have so much more responsibility than I do here. I'd have to teach Chris everything from A-Z and maybe even wear the pants for a while and I don't want to have to do that. Call me old fashioned, but I like that he's in control, making the plans, and bringing home the bacon. The idea that I might have to have that role for a while if we move to DFW is scary. We also have a security here that would take a decade to build up in DFW and that's scary too.
Bottom line is that, while part of me kind of does want to move to the city, most of me is happy to move from Moranbah and stay in Sarina forever. I think I would only move back to the USA if Chris got an amazing job opportunity and it was secured and signed for.... so much to think about. It's a long time before we have to go down that road though. :)
Monday, May 10, 2010
This is the how-to video, they said that if you line the inside of your retaining wall with fire-proof bricks you don't even need the steel fire-pit bowl. But I've found some reasonably priced ones online so I think we'll order one. They look so nice!
This looks like a very basic project and might be a fun project for any of y'all in the southern states of Australia, or later on this year for the rest of my friends and family in the states. :)
Sunday, May 9, 2010
I've been going out to the pub every Friday night I'm in town, and it's been amazing for my social life! In this town, the only thing to do recreationally, other than making your own fun at home, is to go to the pub (google a map of Moranbah, Queensland and you'll see why. ;) ) I've met SO Many new people! It's always fun, and always a good time. It's nothing flashy, and their idea of a fancy cocktail is Vodka-redbull, but it's fun. I've met enough people now that I think I can start having house parties once a month for girls only and that would be a fun time too. Who knew that the pub would be the social hub of the town?
Petra is doing SO much better, praise God!!!! She has a case of Nutritional Secondary Hyperparathyroidism, which is a skeletal condition that occurs due to a diet low in calcium. The only cure is to pump her full of nutrients so she is on a strict twice-a-day dosage of laxatives as well for the next month to encourage her system to become regular again at which point she will have a check up at the vet where they will determine whether to continue twice-a-day treatment or if we should start to wean her off. I am over the moon that she is okay for now! Being confronted with the thought of her tiny lifeless body was so overwhelming for me, I just don't think I could have handled that... she's not out of the woods yet though and I found this story of a kitten with the same condition, and its progress sounds a lot like Petra: http://www.americancat.net/otto.html This worries me because, even though the vet hasn't mentioned it, if she has another constipation episode, the only cure is to repair her pelvis surgically....hmm. I think we need to buy pet insurance. I don't know what road we're going down.
Iiiii just remembered it's Sunday...which means we have church in 6 hrs....it's definitely 3:30 am. At least I'll get a good 5 hrs sleep in. That's not so bad. But I should go. haha
Thursday, May 6, 2010
I feel so upset. I picture at least 10 years with this baby. I imagine our kids playing with her in the future and how she and Bean would be close friends and play mates. I'd made her a part of our family. I know if she is terminally ill, having her put down is for the best but I just don't want to lose this little kitten. She didn't do anything to deserve this. I love her.
I know, I know, I'm talking about poo...but I had to vent!! Where else could I say it??
In other news we celebrated Cinco de Mayo at our place tonight with some beef fajitas and margaritas. YUM! I think I just wanted an excuse to have a margarita. hehehe The fajitas were so yummy though! I tried to make guac but my avos were too ripe and wouldn't mash. boooo!!
Haven't heard from the dentist yet. Applications close Friday so hopefully I'll get a call after that. Pray it works out!
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
I feel pretty conflicted about the whole sweat shop boycott thing. I mean, at least some of those women are admitted illegal immigrants…they’re breaking the law just by being in the country, they aren’t even legally allowed to hold employment in the
At the end of the day, I dunno. One of the big problems that blog had with F21 is that they rip-off designer styles. Even though I never really shop at F21, here I am over here loving unique-vintage.com even though I know that a lot of their dresses are blatant rip-offs of more expensive designs. Part of me justifies that since I would NEVER spend $500 on the Jovani gown, buying the $80 knock-off isn’t actually losing them any money and, in turn, I accept that the gown I get will be of poorer quality details and materials. But I also know that if they’re not getting any royalties for the design it’s still wrong either way. I know it’s wrong, so why do I do it? Why do we do that?