Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I love my job . . .

Today was just one of those days when I thank God that I decided to do teaching. Not just because I did it well - I taught a great maths lesson, a great reading lesson and two great music lessons - but because it was rewarding, satisfying and just generally awesome.


In music this term we're going right back to the basics of singing and recorder playing - note recognition, harmonies, listening skills, music reading. Today my 5/6/7 class learned to play and sing  a simple nursery rhyme that uses A, G and E, and then I taught them to sing it in a round with four groups. They did SO well - I felt I'd really achieved something! Then the 2/3/4 class learned an even simpler song involving only C and A. Their recorder playing is still pretty awful but they could hear where it was going wrong, which was an improvement. They only sang a 2-part round but they did it so well that I'm going to try them with a four-part next time. They're making progress in music! Yay! *mentally hugs her kids*


After school I took some of the years 3-7 kids for "Be Active", an after-school healthy eating and sports programme, and taught them to play Danish Rounders, a game which was a staple of my primary school years. They had never heard of it! But it went really well.


We have an interschool cross-country race tomorrow at the local golf course, so I will have no teaching to do at all. Practically the weekend :-D


My body is still screaming at me to eat. I'm at that point in the diet where my body has realised that this isn't just a short phase and it's freaking out - demanding food every second of the day in a frantic effort to get the calorie count it's used to. It's not getting it though! This is quite normal for the second week of a diet and I'm weathering it alright even though it feels rather unpleasant. If I can hang on for just a few more days my body will start to get used to the lower number of calories and will stop badgering me. I'm still feeling pretty tired and cold because of the energy drain that the diet is causing, but while my brain is a little on the fuzzy side, I'm actually feeling more energetic physically. I guess it's because my body a) isn't being weighed down by overeating, and b) wants to move around to get warm to compensate for the cold! I think in a week or two I'll be able to start exercising properly.


I resisted and didn't weigh myself this morning - I will do it as planned on Sunday. I feel like I must have lost weight, but I'm not sure whether that's just because I feel so empty all the time!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Good day

I thought today was going to be a shocker when I got to work this morning - I had a really rough night's sleep, woke up late and groggy, got to work minutes before my absolute deadline for being at school and didn't manage to eat breakfast before school started.


But on the contrary, it was a good day. I sailed through my lessons, had fun with the kids, and got a whole lot of preparation and assessment done in my DOTT time. I managed to leave school in time to get to the shop, and I've treated myself (financially) to a few days' supply of Diet Coke - it's expensive but it really helps with the sugar cravings, and it's points-free. So I'm feeling good.


I'm trying to resist the temptation for a mid-week weigh in tomorrow morning. The WW regime is strict - you only weigh yourself once per week because daily fluctuations can throw things out. Mum says the opposite - you should weigh yourself every day because that way you can see the overall trend and won't be put out by an upwards fluctuation on your weigh-day. Partly I'm just scared to step on the scales at all, in case the first week hasn't done anything and I haven't lost any weight at all . . . so I want to get it over with tomorrow rather than waiting until Sunday.  A bit nonsensical, no?


Oh, and I had round two of the Hot Water Bottle War last night. Last time when I burned my hand it was my fault - I poured the water in too quickly - but this time it was the damn hot water bottle. I was pouring the water into my older bottle, and it ripped. It soaked the cover, which was in contact with my shirt, and thus promptly soaked a patch of my shirt, burning the skin under it. The burn is only small - two patches, one about 2cm squared and one just a stripe - but it was stinging rather nastily when I went to bed yesterday. *sigh* So now I'm down one hot water bottle which is not nice in this cold weather! When my tax return comes in I'm getting an electric blanket. There should be a few on special around the place since it's more than halfway through winter now.


Hot water bottles? Over them!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Must . . . not . . . eat . . .

I've been dieting for a week, and this is the first day I've really felt insanely tempted to eat too much. I've done something-or-other to my shoulder and it's very painful and clicky, and that old habit is shrieking: "Fix it with chocolate! Fix it with milo! Fix it with cheese! Eat! Eat! Eat!".

I musn't eat. I mustn't give in, I'll regret it so badly if I do. I'm trying to break a habit of decades and my body is fighting me every step of the way. I wish there was such a thing as calorie-free chocolate! Or that I had some diet coke in the house. Or that there was somewhere still open in town where I could buy some (there is nowhere open in town at all right now!). I really, really, really want something sweet and guilt-free. Yargh!

Ahh well. I've still got 6 points today, so I will have a bit of a snack before bedtime, and I can probably make it a tasty one - a couple of slices of bread with nutella maybe. But if I eat it now I'll be hungry later and even more tempted to break my points limit, so I just have to wait.

I'm glad I'm dieting, and I'm glad I'm able to be so conscious and conscientious about what I'm eating. I'm also glad that I've reached a level of emotional and spiritual health where I can look my emotional eating in the face and say "no more". The griping is just the hunger talking. I am SO looking forward to seeing what I look like when I've lost 10kg, and even more when I've lost the whole 25kg. Photos I can bear to look at! Clothes I can be proud of wearing! Size 12 (or maybe even 10)! Bathers! Energy! And so many other things to look forward to at the end. I've just got to keep on . . . and on . . . and on . . .

Quick check-in

Yesterday when I weighed myself, it was after a morning of searching for my scales, and after I'd had lunch and several glasses of water, and I was wearing clothes. I should have known better! This morning I jumped on the scales not long after I'd got out of bed, after going to the loo and before eating or drinking anything, and with no clothes on. This time I weighed in at 81.4! Quite a difference!

I'm mentioning it so that it doesn't look like a whole lot of weight loss when I check back next week. No false data in this weight-loss effort :-D

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Just for once, I'm organised and on top of things in July, and I've lodged my Tax Return only 27 days after lodgements opened, rather than a few days before they close (31st October) like most years! And the fantastic news is that the preliminary calculator on in the lodgement software reckons I'll get just over $4900 back! This is because I switched from casual to full-time work halfway through the financial year, and I also had a lot of tax-deductable expenses like professional association membership and books I've bought for school, et cetera. The calculator is usually pretty accurate and I can bet on getting at least $4000. I'm planning to completely wipe out my highest-interest debt with that, plus get a new printer and a few new pieces of clothing, and buy S's birthday present which will be quite pricey if I can find what I want for him :-D. So, yay! I can expect to have the money within two weeks.


Today is Day Six of my attempt to lose 10kg by Christmas. I started back on Weight Watchers last Tuesday, and I'm finally using my online account properly - logging my weight, recording everything that I eat, etc. It's a useful system because it calculates the points for you and has just about every food imaginable (including branded stuff) in a database, so you just type in the food, select the quantity, and voila! Points calculated and added to your daily record. You can also save favourite foods so that you don't have to go searching for them every time. I'm loving it. Sunday is my weigh-in day (I FINALLY found my scales this morning, I was looking in the wrong place lol) so I'm going to be posting every Sunday with a progress report. I'm hoping you guys can be a part of my support team!


Today, I weighed in at 83.3 kilos. YUCK. This is pretty much the most I've ever weighed - it's been fluctuating between 80 and 84 since the start of 2006, with no real progress either way. I'm setting myself up to lose 500g each week, which will result in 10kg off by Christmas with a small margin for error. 500g may be an underestimate based on my prior experiences with Weight Watchers - I can lose up to 1kg a week - but I'll keep it like that by now and if I'm losing more it will be a bonus! My long-term goal is to lose the whole 25kg I need to lose by July 2009 -meaning that my weight will be well and truly stable by the time I need to start thinking about thinks like wedding dresses. No, still not engaged. Just promised :-) And if Mum is going to make my wedding dress she will need me to have a stable (and acceptable!) weight at least 4 months before the wedding. So now is the time to get cracking.


I'm doing myself up a big wall mural with helpful images, quotes and words on it, and useful strategies that I can remind myself to use when I get stuck. I'll take a picture when it's done.


And now for something completely different - pictures of Jemima that I took a few minutes ago. She's in my bedroom curled up in her bed, which is in front of the heater (funny, that). It took ages to get these pictures because she kept starting to clean herself every time I focused! Enjoy :)

"I wuv u"

"Take photos, will you? Then I'll clean my nose"

Do not ask me how her pupils ended up turquoise in this shot!

Looking intently at my fingers, which I was wiggling to get her attention

Pretty fed up and about to start licking herself again lol

And finally, this is a picture of a rainbow that I saw during Perth's major storm the Friday before last. Originally it had been a complete and vivid arc, but I was on the highway when I saw that, and by the time I stopped at an intersection (with plenty of time to take a photo, I didn't hold up traffic!), it had dwindled to this. But still, it looks pretty cool.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I would really . . .

. . . like to stop dreaming about my ex-best-friend (see the January 2008 archives, post entitled "Closing a Door").

I've been dreaming about her every other night lately. The dreams usually skip over the "how we became friends again" bit and place us somewhere in the future where we're friends again, talking about exciting parts of my future like my wedding or names for my children.

I'm sure this has been stirred up by the fact that I've been thinking a lot about bridesmaids lately, due to the way things with S are progressing :-). For twelve and a half years of my life, there was no doubt at all that J would be my chief bridesmaid when I finally got married; now, she won't even be at my wedding. It feels weird and wrong. It also makes me feel strange about the girls I will have as bridesmaids - they're both girls I've met in the last 18 months as I've drifted away from a lot of my old friends and they're the people who are most important to me now. But one of them wouldn't be there if J was still my friend.

I think J and I could potentially be friends again if we sat down and talked it out, provided that she was prepared to unbend enough to forgive me for whatever it is I'm supposed to have done to her - I still don't know! - and provided that she accepted all of the reasons why I found her behaviour towards me unacceptable. Would it be worth it? Probably not. And I'll probably never know because I doubt she will ever let go of her grudge enough to even come to the table and talk in the first place. But it's unsettling the way my subconscious keeps poking me to want to know.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Back into it . . .

Term Three started today. My three most troublesome students were absent, which made it an easy start to the term. We didn't do much, just some basics to ease everyone back into the term.

I'm feeling vaguely out of sorts and miserable today, and I'm not sure why. I haven't been sleeping well lately - lots of nightmares and 'overactive dreams' which leave me feeling tired when I woke up, and the transition to getting up early again after lots of holiday lie-ins hasn't been helping. Plus I just can't seem to get confident about this term. I'm sure it'll go fine and I've got heaps of plans, but somehow I'm just feeling nervous and exposed about my work. *shrugs* Who knows why.

S is extremely busy with uni and trying to prepare for his very last prac - he has 10 weeks left of his entire degree so he's really under the hammer. I'm helping with his assignments as much as I can, but not being able to go and visit him or do much more than chat on MSN (no voice chat, he needs to concentrate too hard) is a strain. I miss him so much. I can't wait until his degree is done with and we can start really concentrating on us. I love him so much!

So . . . I'm feeling a bit funny, but I'm doing okay.

Oh, and I burned my hand yesterday. "Don't get careless while filling hot water bottles" is a really important lesson that I learned years ago, but I ignored it yesterday, and the result was boiling water all over my left hand, and since I immediately dropped the hot water bottle, boiling water all over the kitchen floor. I stuck my hand under the cold tap immediately, but the water was about 4 degrees C so it was hard to keep it under there for as long as you're supposed to. The burn is only a small (2cm squared) red patch, much less than I thought it was going to be, and it's not serious. But it stings :-(

Oh, and I started dieting today. HUNGRY.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

What a wake-up :-(

Last night (or rather early this morning), I woke up to find Jemima scampering around my bed like a mad thing, trying to get under it from any direction. She can't because she's too big. I assumed that there was a mouse or a moth under the bed which she was trying to catch, and since I'm not particularly bothered by either of those, I put her out of my room, shut the door, had a quick look under the bed and couldn't see anything obvious, and went back to sleep. It went down to freezing here last night - 0 degrees C - and I wasn't staying out of my warm bed long for anyone or anything.

This morning, Jem woke me again meowing frantically at my door. I woke up and was going to let her in, so I looked down beside the bed where my feet were going to go, and there was a small brown bunny rabbit next to my bed.

It must have been in the deep shade near my bedside table when I looked under the bed, because a rabbit just bigger than your hand isn't exactly a creature one can overlook, no matter how cold and tired you are.

Anyway, I found an old cloth and wrapped the bunny up in it - it was very scared but seemed okay - and put it right down the back of my yard where hopefully it will go away and the cat won't find it again. I know rabbits are an agricultural pest and really need to be exterminated, but how could I hurt such a little furry thing?

Jem sulked for a couple of hours after that but she's forgiven me now, particularly since I put the heater on! It's still bitterly cold - nearly midday and it's only 7 degrees C. I have to go into school in a little while - it's Sunday and the students come back from holidays on Tuesday so I need to get stuff photocopied and the classroom reorganised. Not looking forward to trying to pin up posters and things with cold hands, and as far as I know there isn't even a heater in the photocopy room. Boo :(

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The universe . . .

. . . must be infinite, because if it wasn't there'd have to be an edge with something outside it, and that something would have to have an edge, and . . .

But how can something be infinite? How can anything go on forever?

It's official, the universe doesn't make sense. *has headache*

Not that this is anything new. It just catches me out from time to time.


I'm enjoying my holiday, which is now more than half over. Two weeks is not long! I'm busy trying to get my house a bit more sorted and trying to get ready for next term. And just trying to have some relaxation time!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sweet potatoes

Just to follow up on that dinner, I tried the marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes and they were really nice - incredibly sweet, but good!

However, the impression I get from those who commented on my previous post is that it's supposed to be a dessert / pie? Yeah . . . we don't eat sweet potato, pumpkin etc as sweets here, so I think the people who ran the restaurant (who are not trained chefs, mind, it's an amateur B&B and on-demand restaurant type place) misunderstood the purpose of the recipe. They had it as a trimming for the meat dishes, served on the buffet alongside the steamed veggies and baked potatoes and stuff, to be eaten with the turkey and ham. o_O It was really nice by itself but it was way too sweet with all of the other savoury flavours!

I think I might have to find a recipe, though, and convert my family to eaters of sweet potato pie. Yum!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

So tired . . .

I'm enjoying my holidays so far, but I'm so exhausted!

12yo sister is staying with me at the moment, while Mum takes 10yo brother to visit our aunt in Sydney and Canberra and the mountains (so that he can see snow). 12yo sis went on the same trip without Mum when she was 10 but 10yo brother isn't able to go alone so Mum is with him, and as Stepdad works full-time, 12yo sis needed to stay somewhere, and I've gladly taken her in.

I picked her up on Sunday and it's been pretty full-on since then. We went shopping in Big Country Town on Monday, drove for 1.5 hours in each direction on Tuesday to go see a very old farm with Clydesdale horses (sis is horse-obsessed), and today we went to an archery park for a round of archery, and an emu farm to look at emus. Now it's mid-afternoon and we're both completely whacked. In a minute I need to go tackle the kitchen so that 12yo sis can bake a cake, and I really don't want to!

It doesn't help that we had disturbed sleep this morning - the town's emergency volunteer call-in siren went off at 5am and woke us both up, and sis was quite upset about it and needed to be comforted. We saw the police and fire engine take off but there was clearly no danger in our immediate area so I got her back to sleep but took a long time to doze off myself (sadly we later found out that there had been a road fatality 14km south of town - a car hit a tree and burst into flames, and the male driver died before emergency services could help. No one I knew and not someone from our town, but still unpleasant for everyone).

After that, I had a very weird dream that I'm still trying to figure out. At first it was to do with the emergency siren - it was daytime and "everyone" was out and about helping with some emergency, I think it involved flooding. My 24yo brother was there for some reason. I went into the shop, which in the dream was even smaller than it currently is, and only contained tinned vegetables and Christmas chocolates, and then was trying to find my brother, who told me that he'd found us an apartment in Washington DC so we could move house soon. There are no words to describe how much WTF? is associated with that lol. Anyway, then we flew to Washington DC and were met there by an online aquaintance of mine who doesn't actually live there but has spoken about it a lot. She took us for a cruise on a river and we saw what we thought were dolphins but then they turned out to be killer whales, leaping and diving around the boats like dolphins do. I remarked that of course our Australian rivers aren't deep enough for killer whales (*giggle*). Then for some reason the boat kind of disappeared temporarily so we had to touch the whale as it went underneath us, even though we weren't supposed to. It was slimy.

At that point I woke up. And felt completely bamboozled.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Talk around Town

Late last night (Friday), I was getting ready for bed (it would have been around midnight) when I heard a long screech of tires followed by lots of crumpling and bumping noises. It sounded like it happened at the crossroads that is one house up from my house, so I rushed outside, but I couldn't see anything and there weren't any sounds to indicate what was going on. I was in my pyjamas and it was cold, so I didn't go and investigate, but went to back to bed knowing that if something had actually happened there would be people closer to it that would sort it out.

Just now (Saturday morning), I walked down do the town's only supermarket, a tiny one that is directly behind my house. As soon as I came around the corner I saw what had happened last night - a car had lost control on the main street, gone out of control across the kerb and across a side road and straight into the side of the hardware, which is directly behind the house that is right nextdoor to me. There is a big hole in the side of the hardware shop that has been boarded up, and there's fire brigade tape all around it. The wheels hit the kerb so hard that the kerb is broken, and there's big gouges in the dirt everywhere. You can see the tyre tracks right back to where the guy lost control on the main street (which is the street the hardware and supermarket are on). The car had been towed or driven away by the time I got there. And there were people everywhere, at least by Little Country Town definitions.

I chatted to the hardware owner for a while and he said that the guy (they know who it was, you have to in this sort of town!) wasn't injured, but he had been very drunk and was showing off for his mates when he lost control. Idiot! It was very scary for the hardware owner and his family because like most shop families in Little Country Town, they live out the back of the hardware in an attached house, so they were right up close. And apparently the guy ran off rather than sticking around and facing the consequences . . . as if that helps in a town small enough that you can shout from one end to the other!

So anyway . . . if I had walked up to the corner last night, rather than going straight back inside, I would have seen the accident seconds after it happened and would have been one of the first on the scene - and in my pyjamas no less as there's no way I would have stopped to change!

Friday, July 4, 2008


Term Two ended half an hour ago. The kids have gone home, the staff are thinking urgent thoughts about wine and chocolate, and I don't have to teach at all for two whole weeks!

Of course, I'll spend most of the second week of the holidays planning and preparing for Term 3, and 12yo sister is staying with me for the first week of the holidays for a treat, so I can't just veg out and do nothing. But still, they're holidays, and YAY.

Term 2 was a success, I think - the kids did great work and their reports were very satisfactory to me as well as to their parents, so far as I can tell! I've survived half of my first year of teaching and I think I'm on my way to really getting my head around running a classroom. It's always going to be a challenge, of course, but I do enjoy it.

The staff are going out together for dinner tonight - we're going to a health retreat / restaurant place about 10km out of town, and we're taking a bus so that everyone can relax - pickup and dropoff to my door, yay! The dinner is a split theme - half "Christmas in July" and half "Fourth of July", so there's a mixture of Christmassy dishes and American dishes, which should be interesting! Have any of the Americans who read this ever heard of marshmallow-topped sweet potato? This is a trimming available on the menu and I'm both fascinated and weirded out by the concept. I can't wait to try it, I'll let you know what it's like! We also get mulled wine on arrival, which I've never tried before, and which we'll want because a cracker of a thunderstorm went over about an hour ago and another one is coming, so it's chilly and damp.

Yay for winter, and yay for holidays :-)