Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Baby, finished, Kylie

1. The author of the original 3BT blog had her baby today, and her husband put up a 3BT post about it. Lovely.

2. A few weeks ago I started reading a document for work. It was so boring I put it down half-way through and have been procrastinating about it ever since. But today I finished it. And posted my notes about it. All done. Phew.

3. I went for an after-dinner walk with the ipod, listening to Kylie Minogue's greatest hits. Good music to bop along briskly too. And I wove this elaborate fanatsy that involved me singing with her, to her eternal gratitude.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Quiet, winning, presents

1. Christmas was wonderful - three days of family, fun, presents and food. But this morning the last houseguest left and we had the house to ourselves again, and that was nice too.

2. I won the "Masterchef" Christmas challenge! All the family contributed something to the Christmas fare, with lemons as the core ingredient. My possett (lemon juice, cream and sugar dessert) won by a couple of votes.

3. Having the time now to look over my Christmas presents properly. Phat Lootz!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chocolate, turkey, list

1. The kids and I made individual chocolate cheesecakes for Christmas Eve dessert and 4 year old Aiden licked the bowl and beaters. He was covered in chocolate from nose to shoulders.

2. I collected my pre-ordered meat from the butcher and paid, but checked the bag because it seemed quite light for what I was getting. There was the pork loin for Christmas Eve and the sausages for the Boxing Day BBQ - but where was the turkey for Christmas Day?! They went and found it for me. I was so glad I had looked in the bag before walking away.

3. Checking a list of stories I should have (to judge) with stories I actually had. Only one missing. Within an hour I had an electronic copy sent to me.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bike, husband, shopping

1. Picking up my new bike - a Christmas present from my husband. The shop was only a 20 min walk from my house so I walked there and pushed it most of the way home then rode on the footpath for the last couple of blocks. I haven't ridden a bike for well over 20 years (I am 40 now) and I was quite nervous. With reason - I fell off the first time I tried to stop! Hurt my knee and palms. I felt about 5 years old, sitting on the ground trying not to cry. But I was very proud of myself for getting straight back on and riding the rest of the way. It is a lovely bike. They "built" it just for me as they didn't have any extra-small adult ladies' bikes in stock. I could have ridden the small, but my lack of skill made me want to be able to put my feet down easily. So in a week, at Christmas, I will have a lovely grey and pink pushbike with far more gears than I could ever use.

2. Meeting my husband for lunch and Christmas shopping. He works such long hours I don't get to spend much time with him these days. But holidays soon!

3. I think the Christmas shopping is all done (for me anyway, I think Tim still needs to help the kids buy some things for me) except for a few stocking fillers for our houseguests. I spent an hour this afternoon wrapping, so that is pretty much all done too. I love wrapping. Oo - I keep forgetting the ribbons I bought. I need to put some on the presents. We have a purple and gold theme this year, on the tree and with the wrapping paper.

Pain-free nap, movie, diagnosis

1. Anti-inflammitories reduce the pain in my shoulder and I have a much-needed afternoon nap.

2. I babysat for a friend last Saturday night and she returns the favour so Tim and I can go to the movies tonight. Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Not the best adaptation of the book that I could imagine, but fun, and it was great to get out.

3. Finally having a diagnosis and a plan for my shoulder pain.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sun. butterflies, son

I accidentally posted this on my weight-loss blog. But here it is from a couple of days ago.

1. After a month of rain and floods we have a beautiful cloudless day. The rain has been good in many ways (except for the flooding), our dams are up from 40% to 100% at the start of an Australian summer, but it is nice to see the sun as I go for my morning walk.

2. The world is suddenly full of orange and black butterflies. Bobbing past my face as I walk, landing here and there for just a moment, shadows on white house walls. I walk through a maze of wings.

3. My 4 year old son loves the sun too, he lies naked in the rectangle of light coming in through his bedroom

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tupperware, free time, taping hope

1. I went to my first tupperware party today to oblige a friend. It all seemed very expensive and I didn't buy anything, but I had a cup of tea with group of nice women (many of us have kids at the same playschool) and the best part was that as a tupperware virgin I was given a couple of little free things: a small long-handled brush, like a big toothbrush, for cleaning inside tall narrow things; and a small square of plastic/rubber that is supposed to give you great traction for opening recalcitrant jars - something I have a lot of trouble with due to my shoulder injury. I haven't tried it out yet. I love free stuff!

2. My son was offered a playdate this afternoon which gave me a couple of hours to finish some reading I needed to do before a meeting tonight.

3. I have remembered that a new favorite show is on tonight in time to ask my husband to tape it for me while I am out. I loved episode 1 of "Raising Hope" but missed episode 2 - and I can't watch it online as the US is too far ahead of Australia and they only have from episode 5 onwards available. I'll see tonights though, eventually.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Evening off, hot chocolate, Demigod

1. I was dreading having people over this evening. I am tired and the house is a mess. But I just got a phone call to say the venue has been changed to a neighbour. Since my husband and I can't both go (no babysitter), I am happily sending him out to have a social evening while I rest at home. He will put the kids to bed before he goes. Bliss.

2. As foreshadowed yesterday, I spent the morning in a cafe with some short stories to critique. The Belgian hot chocolate was really really good. Actually, I only sat for an hour, then wandered around the shops getting some Christmas present ideas, then did some more reading while I had lunch alone in a busy Chinese restaurant. A lovely morning.

3. I "level up" my Dungeons and Dragons character and chose an epic destiny for her as we have just hit level 21 (maximum is 30). I am now a Demigod. Go me.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Vegetables, finished, mulch

1. The raised garden beds are finished and the soil was wheelbarrowed down the driveway and shovelled in by Mr Wonderful, so today I took 4-year-old Aiden to the nursery and we chose 10 punnets of vegetables to plant out the moment it stops pouring rain: tomatoes, green peas, snow peas, zucchini, button squash, chives, sage, sweet corn, cucumber, and ... can't remember no. 10.

2. I completed a 50 hour (spread over 4 weeks) freelance project today. With my limited time, this meant evenings and weekends. It was a relief and a triumph to get it done in time - in fact a day early - so that I can do some other things I was hoping to have time for in the next couple of days before I get stuck into the next one. In fact, tomorrow I am taking some of my reading to a cafe and sitting with a hot chocolate and a view of the hills. Luxury. I can only take on one major freelance job a month (as well as my other work), and since doing my little bit of advertising I have got enough enquiries to keep me busy.

3. I remembered the tenth vegetable ... butternut pumpkin. And I also got some mulch to put between the two raised beds so I don't get sticky clay-covered shoes every time I attend to my new seedlings.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dirt, mango, friend

1. A load of dirt for our new raised vegetable garden is delivered, and it is dark and lumpy and manure-smelling. Excellent.

2. I lay out afternoon tea for some friends; the watermelon and scored mango cheeks look beautiful.

3. Seeing a friend who moved away 4 years ago and I have only seen her once since then. Great to chat and catch up.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Friend, Bucket, TV

The reason I hesitated so long about starting a 3BT blog is because I knew that some days would be hard. Like today, when my 4 year old son was home vomiting and I had some urgent work I couldn't do while looking after him and also couldn't get out to the shops so .... you know. Some days are like that. But the point of this exercise is to find the good in each day, so:

1. My friend and neighbour and fellow-mother Janet brought my daughter home from school so I wouldn't have to drag sick Aiden out, and the school rang to check that that was ok. Two great things there.

2. After the first vomit, all the rest went into the bucket or the toilet, so there was hardly any cleaning up to do and only one set of sheets.

3. Wednesday is my favourite TV night, and I am looking forward to collapsing.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Cointreau, zumba, Naamah's Kiss

1. The taste of Cointreau. Fiery orange liquer.

2. Zumba! It's great to get back into exercise after being sick for about 7 weeks.

3. Being entranced by Jaqueline Carey's book Naamah's Kiss. So hard to put down and get on with my work. And there is a sequel just waiting for me in the bookshops when I am ready.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bed, concert, healthy

1. My first night's sleep in my own beautiful comfortable bed after 4 nights away. Bliss.

2. My 6-year-old daughter's school concert. Her year sings "Star Trekking" and dances to "Men in Black".

3. I did the grocery shopping this morning and bought mostly healthy food. Go me! Can't yet live without chocolate, though.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sun, together, key

We've spent the last 5 days in Sydney on a mini holiday. I will just pick three highlights that come to mind.

1. On the drive home in the car today, feeling a bit cool but with the sun shining in on my legs warming them beautifully. Sometimes the simple things really are fantastic.

2. Sharing time with my family, away from the distractions of work and housework. I didn't need to cook or clean, my husband was with us instead of late at work.

3. The final moment of a frustrating hour. My mum was babysitting one evening, I got back to the hotel to take over (my husband was still out for a while longer) but she couldn't find her car keys. We didn't want to wake the kids, so we used the light from the bathroom and searched her handbag, the floor, the bed she had been sitting on, her handbag again - everything out and the bag squeezed to check it hadn't fallen through the lining - the car door and ignition, the ground between her car and the hotel room, the handbag yet again, everywhere over and over. After an hour we turned on the light (the kids didn't wake up) for one more look. It was in her handbag!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Contacts, cool, bath

1. Making a list of useful contacts for my freelance business and finding it runs to six pages. I know more people than I thought.

2. Handing out invitations to my son's 4th birthday party. "Cool!" says his best friend Finn.

3. I leave the bath tap running too long and it nearly overflows. The kids are delighted that it is so deep and completely fail to call me - I catch it just in time.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Roast lamb, a freelance job, engagement present

1. Roast lamb. Tender meat, crunchy skin. All my secret herbs and spices that I disclose to no-one. Mmmmm.

2. A freelance job! I have my ongoing independent contractor work, but this is only my second freelance job since I started by own business 4 months ago. And it is a fantasy romance novel - my absolute favourite. We are negotiating the price now. She probably can't afford what my time is worth, but tell you a secret ... I'll probably do it anyway!

3. We went shopping to get my brother-in-law and his fiancee an engagment present and chose some lovely light-blue towels. Traditional perhaps, but nice. They were in a gift box: 2 towels, 2 hand towels, 2 face washers. And they even turned out to be on sale, which we didn't know until we got to the check-out. My husband is now worried that we didn't spend enough! But it's only the engagement, we'll get something big for the wedding.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Reading, helping a friend, planning my novel.

1. Finishing a book of short stories I am judging, I have struggled to find the time.

2. Being able to help a friend by picking up her daughter from school (along with my own) when her appointment runs overtime.

3. Finding solutions to all the little issues coming up as I plan my own novel. How does the magic work? Who are Aran's parents? What do I call the inn? It is all coming together.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Grapes, helping, toilets

1. The first really good seedless green grapes of the season, possibly my favourite food in the whole world. Sweet and tart and firm.

2. Staying up late last night to help my husband write a job application. As I am an editor by profession, I really feel like I made a contribution. His current job is stressful and has given him dangerously high blood pressure, so he is looking for a change.

3. Making it to the public toilets while out shopping today when my digestive system decided to rebel. Doesn't sound like a 'beautiful thing'? It's a lot more beautiful than if I didn't make it!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Gardening: spring, strawberries, slaters

1. Leaving the chilly house to do some gardening in the warm spring sun. I am feeling well enough to pull some weeds from the lawn while my husband does the much more strenous job of clearing the would-be vegetable bed.

2. One of our new strawberry plants has half a dozen tiny white flowers.

3. The kids' delight as they find a swarm of slaters under a pot that I move. They 'rescue' the little bugs and put them in a bucket to watch, then later release them to a pile of dead leaves.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cold water, bed, movie

I have been struggling a bit due to illness, but there is still beauty in the world!

1) The feeling of ice-cold water washing over an inflamed sore throat.

2) The temptress, the seductress: bed. Lying down at the end of the day and just relaxing into the mattress.

3) Mr & Mrs Smith. A great movie, which I watched again rugged up on the lounge.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A day off, cheese Doritos, the Commonwealth Games

Thanks to other 3BT bloggers for the inspiration. I may not write on this one every day, but my intention is to write on one of my three blogs each day.

It's time to start practising gratitude and thankfulness.

1. I have had the 'flu (one or several in a row) for four whole weeks now, which is a bummer, BUT I am so lucky to be in my current circumstances. I work freelance, so I can take days off without inconveniencing anyone, and my husband earns a good wage so me not working as much does not have a devestating impact. I have two young children, but a combination of childcare and visiting parents has meant I have plenty of time to just sit around and look after myself. Although I have had plenty of grumpy moments (ahem days) about being unwell for so long, when I compare myself to people who have much more serious aliments and/or still have to drag themselves to work anyway, I am very very grateful. Today I am home alone, and I can choose to do some paid work, try to catch up on the neglected housework, watch TV or read, or even go back to bed if I want. I think a combination of all of those.

2. The taste of cheese supreme Doritos. Yes I need to get back on the healthy eating plan one of these days - but not today! Love that salty cheesy crunch.

3. The Commonwealth Games (like the Olympics, but only for countries which are part of the British Commonwealth; like England, India, and my own Australia) are on at the moment, and the afternoon session will include more swimming. The Aussies win nearly all the swimming! I hardly ever watch sport, but I do enjoy the Olympics and Commonwealth Games, even stuff like weight-lifting and curling.