Storm In A B-Cup

First Finished Crochet Projects

Last night I finished the baby blanket I was making for my friend, and with the left over yarn (which I have much more of than I thought), I decided to try to make a pair of booties.  After a few trial and errors due to the differences between the types of yarn in the US and Australia, I found a combination that worked – for a pattern that called for 4ply baby yarn and a 4.5mm hook, I used 8ply yarn and a 5.5mm hook.  I think they came out at about the right size.  I don’t really know – I don’t spend enough time around babies to be sure, but I think they’re pretty close.

For the blanket, I pretty much just made a giant solid granny square, and then made up a “wavy” edge to finish it off.

blanket

For the booties I used this pattern that I found on Ravelry.  It’s easy and quick to work up, which is perfect for me!!

booties 1booties 2

The pictures came out a little blurry – I took them late at night, maybe the light was wrong?  Oh well, either way, there are pictures and I’m VERY proud especially of my first ever pair of booties.

 

 

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A New Addition to this Crazy World of Ours

Last night a close friend of mine had her second baby. He is very healthy at 7lb2oz, super cute, but a little ahead of schedule, at just under 37 weeks. While this is all great, it means that I haven’t had time to finish my last minute present that I started making a couple weeks ago. I figured I had a least another week or two to finish crocheting my blanket, but baby B had other ideas. So I’m rushing to get that finished – especially since the weather’s suddenly turned so cold. All my blogging time today has gone into it and I suppose it probably will for the next couple of days.

But the main point of this post – welcome to the world, baby B, and congrats to mama K, papa A and special big sister E!! Hopefully I’ll have a cutie pie baby picture to share with you all soon :).

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Jealousy, the Stage, and Marriage (do not mix)

Jealousy is not a good colour on me. Or anyone, but definitely on me, and especially in the toxic incarnation that it has worst affected me.
Let me tell you about the start of my relationship. T and I met when we were both performing in a local show, a production of South Pacific in which I was playing one of the leading roles and he a smaller role.

I was so proud of myself. It was my first production with the theatre company and not only had I scored a leading role, but I had just been accepted into a semi-prestigious music theatre school. I had been acting and singing for not very long, and I truly thought I was all that.

T and I started dating (he was my very first boyfriend, at age 19), and things were good. As we got to know each other better, I discovered that T was an aspiring actor and singer – not a shock since we met performing – but when the next show rolled around in a few months’ time I was in for a surprise.

The director of the past show was a singing teacher, one I had started having lessons with since South Pacific, and she was grooming me for the lead role in the upcoming production of “the Baker’s Wife”, and full of the agconfidence of youth and inexperience, I believed her. I practiced hard and turned up to the auditions with confidence. So did T. I was gunning for us to be cast opposite one another, romantic leads on and off the stage. Alas, it wasn’t to be. I was cast in a supporting role, and T as one of the leading men. I was happy for T, but quietly jealous.

As each show rolled around, we both continued auditioning, and the same thing kept happening. Now I know it is community theatre, and it can not only be very political but also much more competitive for girls than guys, but it hurt. I loved theatre, it was my life at that point. But my jealousy was beginning to make me toxic.

It was affecting our relationship, making me sad and resentful of T’s success. Instead of supporting him and building him up like I should be, I was saying things that made me feel better – but we’re not the sort of thing I should have been saying to my boyfriend. Things like “well there was hardly any competition for the role” or criticisms of his performance. Or even just not being as fully present and happy for him as I should have been. I didn’t recognize that while I was upset that my work wasnt getting me anywhere, my lack of support and my less than kind words were hurting him a great deal too.

We have talked about this a lot. A LOT. It has been a big thing in our relationship. And for now, we have both made the decision to stay out of community theatre since the whole scene – not just my jealousy – was not doing us any good as a couple. Maybe one day one or both of us will go back. But right now, us is more important. T is focusing on teaching and the more professional side of performance. I am focusing on music, singing for pleasure (for myself, not others) and my nursing. And that’s enough for us.

My jealousy got the better of me, and almost caused some permanent damage to my relationship with my husband. We are still dealing with some of the consequences today. I really hurt T back then. But now that I have moved past it we are better and stronger than ever before.

Has jealousy ever affected your relationships

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Men Vs Women: Who Actually Wins? Really?

Today my lovely husband has written a blog post for me.  Let me add – I had no input at all into the topic, he chose it all on his own.  He was curious about blogging, and I’m sure he’ll be back for another go sometime soon.  Enjoy!

Women. Am I right? Men. Oh don’t even go there! When did the human race become so into stereotyping? Let’s go back in time for a sec. Let’s just say July 18th, 1952. The time is 4:38pm AEST and its slightly dry. Not so dry that your mouth feels like the surface of a sealed road but slightly more moist than that of a moon rock and figure out where the battle of the sexes began!

If you look at any period piece movie around that time you will see a shorter than average blonde lady baking a blackberry pie whilst she sings Moon River with a cartoon blue bird. Now we all love Andy Williams, but this is ridiculous!! We go up to this woman. Let’s call her Carolyn. “Hello” we would say in a cheery (if not slightly annoying) fashion, in which she would respond (turning in slow motion, of course) “Why hello there, my darling! You look absolutely wonderful. Your eyes are like moon stones and you have a smile that is so infectious I just want to cut you a big slice of homemade pie and talk about mopping floors”.

She would stand there. Her face would be without wrinkles and her teeth would blind you. Thankfully we are all wearing ray band sunnies to shield us from what appears to be the surface of the sun. Oddly we stand there, not knowing what to do and ask this woman “We were just wondering where we could find your husband?” This lovely woman steps back, allows one of the cartoon blue birds to perch on her ever so slim finger and replies “Why, my dear, Harold is in the tool shed, tinkering around with all sorts of gadgets! I can’t tell you exactly what because the outside is no place for a woman”. She then leaps like a cartoon princess and continues to duet with this blue bird. We’ve now gone from Andy Williams Moon river, to singing Frank Sinatra’s my way.

Oh. My. God.

Now before we go any further let’s just come to terms with what we’ve just been through. Perfect stereotyped woman of the 50’s, a beautiful (if not a slightly annoying and unrealistic) blue bird singing two crooner classics, a fresh out of the oven blackberry pie, and to close the scene, the crooner classic… My Way. This picture I have created for us is obviously an exaggerated movie scenario that would most likely star Deborah Kerr.

Let us for a moment briefly explore what most likely would have happened. Harold comes home after a long hard day building white picket fences and mending kites for young neighbourhood kids. He walks in reeking of cigar smoke and says (after the standard ‘honey, I’m home’ routine) “I’m going down to the races with a few buddies. Will be a couple of hours!” Carolyn accuses him of spending too much time with his friends.

Now, this may or may not be the case, but for the purpose of this scene, let’s just say it is. A huge fight erupts and he throws into the argument the usual lines “I work all day, I just need to relax!” and “I never called you fat, just not as slimming as you were in 1948!” Bad move, Harold. Bad move.

Now I don’t know about all of the guys out there but I know when my wife and I have a disagreement all she has to do is pull the sad eyes and I’m done for. Harold decides to stay, but in a furious tantrum he storms out to his tool shed and slams the door. Enter us. We see the sun lit kitchen with a great big, honking huge, calorie filled, heart stopping any second, yet irresistibly tasty Blackberry pie! Now I don’t know what all of you may be thinking, but to me, I see two words. COMFORT FOOD.

Let’s wrap this up. An hour has passed and Harold has smelled the inviting scent of the pie that has been perched on the window sill. There is no cartoon bluebird because in actual fact if a singing blue bird got within ten feet of this pie, Carolyn in her blind rage would have ended its singing days with one of her saucepans. Or spatula, you know, whatever is closest. He walks in to find that three quarters of it has been eaten by our lovely young heroine. She has graciously left him the last quarter because let’s face it; it’s just a nice thing to do. He grabs a fork, sits down with his adoring wife and eats it.

There is a simple equation that goes with a man and wife fighting. This is;

Woman fights + Man fights = huge fight / divided by how long they are separated (recommended to be at least 30 minutes) + awkward silence (generally 60 seconds) + digesting the fattiest food available = happily ever after.

The equation: 1 + 1 = Y / 0.50 + 0.01 + X = Z

I know that when my wife and I argue we have a short series of steps.

  1. We argue
  2. I go out to cool down
  3. I bring back chocolate
  4. We eat the chocolate together

Its surprises me that we (as a human race) haven’t become extinct from global obesity. Let us all from now on accept the fact that no one ever wins. We just go out and comfort eat instead. We can go on thinking that we are all that. But let’s face it… We all know that the end of the road either lies in a confectionary aisle of a supermarket or Carolyn’s kitchen. We can continue on with our ways of stereotyping each other but again let’s face it… Eating a pie with a cartoon blue bird is the way to go! Unless it sings Bieber. Then you have my full support to wrap a saucepan around its beak!

As a courtesy, here is the recipe for a stunning black berry pie! Think of our adventure when you eat it!

Much love! T

  • 4 cups of blackberry
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
  • 2 tablespoons of milk

    Picture "borrowed" from taste.com.au

    Picture “borrowed” from taste.com.au

  • ¼ of white sugar
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10 Things from Books I Wish Were Real

You may (or may not) have gathered that I love reading.  Adore reading.  Almost never stop reading.  Especially fantasy and sci fi.  Almost every time I read a new book, I find myself coveting something in that book, wishing it were real.  Here are my top 10 items from books that I wish were real.

1. Hermione’s beaded bag, from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  That would be the handbag to end all handbags (I also have a fascination with handbags)

2. “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” from the series of the same name.  Seriously.  You would never need another reference book again.

3. On the same vein – their spaceship is also quite incredible.

4. Charter Marks from the Old Kingdom Chronicles (by Garth Nix – check them out, really good books).  I’m cheating a little on this one.  Technically this isn’t an item, it’s a form of magic.  But it’s very cool and governed by a specific folk lore.  And also very useful.

5. The tent that Harry and co. camp in at the Quidditch World Cup (and later in the Deathly Hallows book).  If I had a tent like that, maybe I could manage camping.  Maybe.

6. Pretty much all of Fred and George’s inventions – also from Harry Potter (noticing a theme?), because we all need a good laugh.

7. Genetic testing, like what is available in a book called “The Terminator Gene” (I think…I read it a long time ago).  I know we’re kind of close to inventing something like this, and also that the ethics are a little questionable.  But I can’t help think of all the lives that could be saved if we could perform genetic testing and predict – and prevent – the occurence of diseases like cancer.

8. Also from Harry Potter – the Marauder’s Map.  But not of Hogwarts.  Unless Hogwarts was also real.  Which, duh, would be awesome.

9. The Babel Fish, from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  What an awesome way for everyone to understand each other!  The beginning of world peace?  Maybe not.  But still.  Awesome.

1o. And one last thing from Harry Potter (ok, ok, I’m a huge fan.  So what! haha).  Who could go past the temptation of an Invisibility Cloak?  Of all the three Deathly Hallows, that would be the one I would choose.

What do you wish we had in real life from your favourite books?

PS.  I’ve asked T to write a post for the blog, since he was curious about what the whole “blogging” thing was all about.  He’s been furiously typing away over there, so I’m pretty sure that post will be up tonight.  Be ready for it, he’s much much much funnier than I am (something that wouldn’t be hard at all!).  And maybe he’ll decide to write his own blog out of it.  We’ll see.  So stay tuned!

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Daily Prompt: Dulled

Today’s daily prompt question should – theoretically – be a no brainer for me.  The choice of which sense to sharpen, even if it would dull the rest for someone like me, that is, someone with a sensory deficit of one kind or another seems like a simple one.  I have less hearing than the rest of the general population, so why would I not choose to have that sense sharpened to experience “normal” hearing?

My first thought of course was indeed that I would choose the sense of hearing to sharpen.  But then I really thought about it.  If I heard normally, I don’t think I would like it.  I would be completely overwhelmed.  I hear only out of one ear.  To suddenly hear – acutely – noise coming at me from all directions would, quite frankly, be almost scary.  I quite enjoy my silence.  I like being able to sleep on my good ear and not be disturbed.

But I haven’t yet answered the question.  I think whether I sipped this potion or not would depend on whether the effects were permanent or not.  If they were, I really don’t think I would.  I like my senses how they are, thank you very much.  Even were one sense sharpened, the others are too important to the full experience to dull.

If the effects were temporary then I think I would most like to experience a sharpened sense of taste.  I read a book once as a teenager about a girl who (after experiencing a blow to the head) experienced sharpened senses, enhanced to a degree where each was interlaced with the other and new senses awakened.

The book describes especially the sense of taste as something entirely different when enhanced.  Of course, none of us really know what it would be like, but this story would have us believe that it is quite the experience. I think that – as a temporary experience – this might be one of the more enjoyable.  A sharpened sense of touch, smell, sight or hearing each has its drawcard, but I think this would be my pick. If I had to pick.

Would you try a potion that would sharpen one sense, if it would dull the rest? If the effects were temporary? Permanent?

Sorry about what I think is a very garbled, nonsensical post.  If it is any excuse, I am very very tired (it’s late at night here!), and back to uni tomorrow.  I hope it’s semi-coherent.

Thanks for visiting

Nat xx

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5 Yummy Dessert Recipes I am Dying to Try (When I Have A Kitchen)

While I don’t have a kitchen (for hopefully the short term), I have been missing being able to cook properly and bake and learn how to make all kinds of different things.  So I have been spending a lot of time on Pinterest and around the web looking at (and pinning) lots of recipes that I want to try one day.  Here’s a short list of a few that I really want to try one day – when I can.  But you can try them now!

1. Strawberries N Cream Pudding Cookies from lil’luna

2. Cookie Dough Fudge from here

3. Cake Batter Truffles (no bake) from The Novice Chef

4. Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake from here

5. Marshmallow Black-Bottom Pie from here

 

If you try them, let me know how they turn out?

Thanks for visiting!!

Nat xx

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My Camera

 

Finally I have my camera working again, and I am endeavouring to learn how to use it.  It is a long process, and I hope something that I can learn by practice, because I tell you, my photos are decidedly not good.  Yet.  At least, I hope they will improve because I love the idea of being able to capture special moments on film.  But right now, my pictures are mediocre at best.  But I am taking lots of them while I figure out different camera modes and how to take pictures.  I read a mini version of “Digital Photography for Dummies” type thing, and while it all sounds so simple, in practice I’m just not that good at it.  But as I keep saying (if I say it enough maybe it’ll come true?), I hope that practice makes perfect – or at least better.  I’ve been taking lots of photos of my hubby, my brother, my mum’s garden, my pretty puppy Phoebe and my brother’s new kitten, Salem (for Sabrina the Teenage Witch).  I thought I’d share a few.  Constructive criticism is not only welcome but VERY appreciated!

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I'm not happy with how his eyes showed up though, I guess the light was wrong?

I’m not happy with how his eyes showed up though, I guess the light was wrong?

 

D 1

 

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Daily Prompt: Memories For Sale

On a weekend road trip, far away from home, you stumble upon a garage sale in a neighborhood you’re passing through. Astonished, you find an object among the belongings for sale that you recognize. Tell us about it.

Photographers, share an image that says MEMORY.

 

This is today’s daily prompt.  And I really had to think for a minute.  A LONG minute.  I suppose because I don’t really associate objects with memories so much as I do events or people.  But then I remembered something that would make me smile and take me back to a time in my life when things were…bittersweet.  Babysitters’ Club books.  Remember those?  A spunky group of young girls, who – when I look back on it now – were really too young to be babysitting? There was a girl in there who we could all relate to.  Probably more than one for most of us.

For me, Mary Ann was who I wanted to be.  She was pretty and smart, but quiet.  And she still had friends!  I wished I could be cool and edgy like Claudia.  I wished I was sophisticated like Stacey.  Dawn was so unique, and all of the others had something that some little girl out there just wanted to be.  And I wished I was all of them!

I so looked forward each month to the day that I would receive my new books in the mail, and when they arrived I would devour them that day.  I adored these books.

I started reading these books long after they were first released in the 80s.  It would have been the mid 90s when I started reading them, I was about 6 or 7.  The second grade.  It was a time in my life that was great, but when I look back on it now, I wasn’t exactly the happiest of kids.  It was a stressful time for my whole family, my youngest brother had just been born, and we were adjusting to life as not only a family of 6, but a family of a child with a disability.

My sister was still at preschool, my “middle” brother between 18 months and 2 years old.  We were busy, and as the oldest child I was expected to entertain myself a lot of the time, as well as at least my sister sometimes.  I was a very shy kid, something that wasn’t helped by my bully of a teacher who used to send me for reading time in the storeroom because my reading level was higher than that of the other kids and she didn’t want them feeling inferior.  Who put me on detention day in and day out because there was no school bus, and my mum had trouble getting all four of us out the door and into the car on time.  Who singled me out every day for one reason or another.

One day, because (as a 6 or 7 year old, mind you) I couldn’t spell tomorrow without help.  Another because I was wearing Christmas earrings – she stood me in a corner with my arms pointed above my head, telling me I looked like a Christmas tree.  Yet another time because I went over some of my letters twice.

She was a small, petty woman.  But at a time that I was so impressionable, and that my family was in such a time of stress anyway, it made a big impact on me.  I withdrew, became terrified of doing anything that might make me stand out or look different, became even more scared of making the smallest mistake.  I wouldn’t do anything without first looking for approval to make sure it was right.  And still seek approval more than I should, I think.

It was lasting, and I need to let it go.  For good.  Really.  But that whole year is something that is embedded in my personality and my psyche, and I’m not really sure how to let it go.

Anyway.  The Babysitters Club.  Those books were such an escape for me during this time that after that they became my “go to” books when I needed comfort.  I collected well over a hundred of them (were there a hundred? A lot, anyway), and after that moved on to the Sweet Valley High books (and yes, I fancied myself an Elizabeth Wakefield).  I didn’t pack any of those books away until I was about 16, and even now, they sit packed in a box.  Hopefully one day my own daughter/s will love them as much as I did (though hopefully not for the same reasons!)

PS.  Sorry that was such a long post, but it was actually rather cathartic!

What item takes you back to another time?

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5 Things That Are Making Me Happy Today #2

I’ve decided that today is the day to continue my “tradition” (if it could be so called) of a 5 Things That Are Making Me Happy Today post, since this week I’ve been feeling kind of down. It’s been a bit of a struggle to come up with the 5 today, but I think it’s been good for me.  The point is to help me to see the positives in life when it isn’t so easy.

1. I renewed my First Aid/CPR certificate today.  And I remembered most of it from the course 3 years ago (haha, well either that or my nursing degree – seems a bit pointless to have both, but what the uni requires goes!)

2. My bridesmaid dress for my friend’s wedding came today, and it pretty much fits.  She chose something off eBay, coming from China and the sizes looked really weird – and were.  So I ordered the biggest, which claimed to be a US 16 but is more like a 12, and since it laces up the back, the only spot that’s masses too big is the chest, so I can have that taken in.  And the length taken up.  So, success!

3. My electric blanket!  This makes me happy all. the. time.  It is starting to get cooler here, and it is just lovely to climb into a pre-warmed bed!

4. Chocolate.  Again, always a winner.  Also: not good for my diet.  BUT, my hormones don’t care, so chocolate it is.  In semi-copious amounts.

5. We didn’t get the house, but it turns out it was a bit of a pile of rubbish of a house anyway.  The back fence was about four feet from the back door.  Not cool for the puppy.  So working out for the best right now. 

 

What’s making you happy today? 

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