Winter’s log, earthdate 201602.29

Thank goodness! 🙂 It’s the last day of Summer! Tomorrow is the first day of my second favourite season – Autumn! One can almost smell those beautiful crisp, clear mornings, with the sun shining brightly, the air clean and cold – the only thing better is a cold winter morning, the sky a soft, kindly, woolly grey, hinting of rain – but only if we’re very good, and deserve a morning of snuggling under the doona for another few minutes of warmth… 🙂 I almost feel like skipping about and singing “Summer is gone, tra la, tra lay!”, except that I know it’s going to get hot again soon, so I won’t. Not yet, anyway 😉 You know, the year is all divided neatly up into little compartments – three months of summer, starting on December 1st, followed by three neat little months of autumn, March 1st until May 31st, then we get three months of winter, until September 1st, when it becomes spring. So neat and tidy and “set” – but it’s not! How long has it been since Christmas was so hot that all you could do after Christmas Dinner was to collapse onto the nearest couch, or the floor, suffering and sweltering, hmm? When I was a child, summers were at their hottest over December and January, and winters were at their coldest and wettest in August and September – even in Melbourne we used to get the odd pea-souper of a fog, late at night. No more, though! I ‘spect it’s Global Warming or summat, but our seasons are changing! Christmas no longer drives Melbourne households into indulging in Christmas Pudding Ice Cream, because it’s just too hot to eat a proper Christmas Pudding, which has to be boiled in the cloth for several hours. The savage hot weather lasts a lot longer, into March and April, and the blossom trees start blossoming earlier and earlier every year. Summer these days lasts into mid to late March, and spring starts in early to mid August! Personally, I like to have only two seasons – Autumn, and Winter! 🙂 But anyway, all I can say is that I’m very glad that summer is officially over, at midnight tonight (but what about Daylight Saving? Is summer over at midnight DST, or does it actually last until 1.00am? And does it really even matter, because most of us are asleep then anyway!)

Our cleaning lady was here this morning, and I had her sweep both the front and back decks, and give a bit of a dust around the doors and windows to get rid of all the spider webs and dead leaves and general detritus that collects during the fortnight. I played WoW for most of the morning, but instead of trying to level Arisnoë up, I spent the time with Wynterthyme, galloping around Draenor collecting things for my Garrison Work Orders! I badly needed lumber for the Lumber Mill, so I went around marking trees to be cut down (and then putting all the wood into my Bag Of Holding*) and I went around killing a lot of very nasty wild animals because I needed their skins for my Tannery, and I went hunting Ogres because I needed lots and lots of Ogre Waystones for my Mage’s Tower Work Orders, then I went and picked a lot of flowers, because I needed the seeds for my Herb Garden Work Orders… I tell you, running a Garrison is a lot of hard work! Setting up and creating things for your Dimension in Rift is child’s play, compared to supporting your Garrison! Of course, you get experience points for all the things you kill, skin, mine, cut down, and pick, which is just as well, because there ain’t too much time left over for questing, while you’re out hunting trees to cut down! 😉 During the course of my labours this morning though, I now find myself with only about six more bubbles to ding level 100! Next Sunday should see us both reach that lofty pinnacle! I just said to Julian “Are they going to raise the level cap for Legion?” (“Legion” is the new expansion that’s supposedly going live in September – my favourite eldest daughter is in the Alpha testing team!) We both suppose that they are going to have to raise the level cap, because they raised it to 100 for Warlords of Draenor – which means that if they don’t raise it again, people who get to Draenor will have nothing to strive for, except “content”, and let’s face it – content is good, as far as it goes, but goals and rewards are better! 😉

Food stuffz: well, we had our Sunday omelets for dinner last night, which were lovely, and for lunch today I had two Ryvita crispbreads with low-fat ricotta, some sandwich ham, low-fat Halloumi cheese, and tomato. Tonight we had some sliced cold ham and sliced cold turkey, with a spoonful of potato salad and a slightly larger spoonful of quinoa tabouli salad, and for dessert I had one of the three figs that Julian picked last night, and a fresh apricot. I’m still chewing on sugar-free chewing gum, and eating (probably far too many! Just because they’re sugar-free doesn’t mean that they’re calorie free!) sugar-free boiled lolly thingies, and I’m still doing my two lots of 1.5 kilometer walks (making a total of 3 kilometers per day) on the highest incline (10) that my treadmill will do, at 3.4 kilometers an hour…

Weigh-in this morning. I don’t know whether to be pleased or cross! I was concerned that my weight was going down too low, but now I’m concerned that it’s going up more than I wanted it to! I went up another three points, from 62.8kg to 63.1kg. So, what exactly do I want?! I know what I thought I wanted, but now I’m… nonplussed! I’d like to have stayed down in the low 62kg zone, even if it was only so that I could grizzle about going down too much. On the other hand, here I am going up again, which gives me exactly the same opportunity to grizzle – about how quickly I’m going up! Arrggghhh! I can’t believe myself! I wish I knew what I did want! :/

Josh was over this afternoon, and as usual, my hair looks immaculate – and next week, instead of doing my hair on the Monday, he’ll do it on Tuesday, because on Wednesday morning (my Birthday) I’m off to see Dr. Y.! I can’t believe it – I thought I still had ages – weeks! to get my weight down, and to get myself looking my best – and it’s next [censored] week! I’m nervous! I’m very glad I’ve never been a nail biter, or I wouldn’t even have any hands left by next Wednesday week! And as for trials and tribulations, it’s Julian’s turn to go to the dentist tomorrow morning – Flipper can sit there and cheerfully wave her paw at him as he drives off to his appointment, with a little thought bubble coming out of her head saying: “So now you know how I felt! (*smug cat smile*)” Then, tomorrow afternoon, the Tax Man Cometh – our accountant is coming over to collect all the bits and pieces of paper to do with taxation – and oh, what fun that will be! (NOT!) And no doubt at some stage of the day, I’ll somehow manage to squeeze in a bit more felling of trees, skinning of nasty critters, and picking the wildflowers, for the benefit of my Garrison denizens. And that, gentle readers, is once again about it from me for this evening! Do drop in again tomorrow night, and see if I’ve come to any conclusions as to what I really want and expect of my weight, how Julian got on at the dentist, and whether we managed to get all our bits and pieces of paper together for The Tax Man (actually, he’s not really “The Tax Man”, he’s an accountant who prepares our tax for us) plus all the other little bits of trivia that make up my day. But until then, please try to bee good, don’t forget that success is a journey, not a destination, and remember to keep cool – or warm – depending on your preferences, to always drive carefully, and to look after yourselves, but above allremember to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

*Bag Of Holding – a small magical bag that’s as light as a feather, but you could put the entire universe in it, and it wouldn’t fill it up! What’s more, you can’t lose anything in it, because all you have to do it put your hand in it and think of what it is you want, and it immediately jumps into your hand! 🙂 I wish I had one…. :/ )

Winter’s log, earthdate 201602.28

Well, here we are, back from Draenor, at long last! We both died once – I think Mouselet just got overwhelmed at one point, and died – and I only just managed to “Feign Death” in time! When I did die, I don’t really know what happened – and neither does Julian, who was with me! We were just going along, doing what we always do in Draenor – killing nasties, looting, skinning, mining, chopping down trees, and picking pretty flowers. This particular time, we were simply obeying our quest givers, and killing a lot of nasty creatures – as one does – and we were doing quite well – no problems, no mob too big or too small – everything was going well… and then, all of a sudden, I was dead! I’d been keeping an eye on my health bar, and it was fine – we were in the middle of a very ordinary, run-of-the-mill fight, with the three of us – Wynterthyme, Boojums, and Mouselet – fighting against three very ordinary opponents (that is, no “specials”, or named mobs or anything) as we usually do. We were more than holding our own against them (as we usually do) and as I said – everything was progressing “as normal”, for a fight like that. Neither of us even saw what happened – one second I was killing monsters, the next, I was dead! To show you how “normal” and easy the fight had been, Mouselet was able to dispose of the miscreants on his own in very short order, brushed the dust off his jacket, and resurrected me. I’d turned off my experience gaining ability last night because Mouselet was falling behind a little – I play much more often than Julian, and because just about everything in the game is geared towards gaining experience – from picking flowers and completing quests, to killing nasty mobs – I was going up in leaps and bounds, and he… wasn’t. Anyway, I turned it off last night until he caught up with me, experience-wise, which he did this afternoon, and now we’re both about even again. We both dinged level 99, so we only have one more level to go to get to the magickal cap of level 100 – hey! Maybe when we do get to level 100, we could change our Guild name to “The 100”, just like the TV series! (nah, only kidding, Joyce! 😉 ) We finished off The Spires of Arak, the zone we’d been playing in all day, and have finally moved on to the next zone, Nagrand, where we had a quest to bump off the first Boss mob on the border of the zone, then we made a mad dash for the first Alliance Flight Point, at a place called “Talaar”. So far, most of this zone appears to be Horde, and not really knowing our way around the place yet, we were probably extremely lucky to have reached Talaar at all, as we went running helter-skelter through just about every single Horde village and town we could find, trying as best we could to outrun the trains of angry Orcs that came chasing after us! Still, we made it, added the Flight Point to our maps, and very quickly Hearthed back to our Garrison(s) Anyway, getting that Flight Point was a nice bonus – now when we play again next Sunday, it’ll be a lot easier to get back to Nagrand! So – once again, a good time was had by all, we only died once (each) and we went up a level! We are well pleased! 🙂

Our lovely cleaning lady will be here tomorrow morning, and it’ll be nice to have a clean floor again in my bathroom. I hadn’t realised, when I chose those very, very light grey, marbled tiles, that they would show up every teeny-weeny little speck of dandruff, shed eyelashes, tissue dust, and denim-blue jeans lint! Nor the fact that the equally very, very light grey and slightly marbled vanity top would be so difficult to keep clean! Oh, it looks clean alright, but if you run the palm of your hand over it, you can feel all the little bumps and lumps of “not quite shiny-slippery clean bench top surface” My mother was a great stickler for “clean”, and “neat”, and “tidy”, as well as the sort of person whose motto was “no speck of dust, no matter how tiny, has any place in my house!” Well, I’m very happy to say that although I grew up with it, that sort of attitude to cleanliness and tidiness was mostly water off a duck’s back to me – but one thing I’m afraid did stick with me, and that’s the ability to see, and feel, every teeny little bit of grit, grime, and grunge that happens to be under my hands! I spend a bit of time every morning cleaning the bathroom bench top… :/ But I digress… I still haven’t heard back from Clarke, so one of us will give him a ring tomorrow – I’m getting just a bit tired of having to roll up a perfectly good towel to shove against the bottom of the shower door so that the water doesn’t drain out into the rest of the bathroom, and having one pretty much useless deep drawer (I was supposed to have two deep drawers, for tall bottles and cans of hairspray and stuff, but this one, for some unknown reason, has a sloping base and is absolutely no use to anyone except as a waste paper bin!) not to mention that all of the other drawers have to be really shoved hard to get them to close, even though they’re supposed to be “self-closing”! Hopefully these little flaws can be fixed sooner rather than later…

Food stuffz: last night we had Julian-made hamburgers – well, maybe they’re more like “large meatballs” than the flattish sort of hamburgers that one eats in buns with lettuce and tomatoes and stuff – but whatever you want to call them, they were very delicious! We had them with sugar-snap peas, half a tomato, and mashed potatoes. We both had some more of the low-fat “Coles brand” rice custard for dessert – it’s lower in calories than the low-fat yoghurt, and it’s very creamy and delicious – if you haven’t tried it yet, you probably should! Lunch today was another nice wrap, with basil pesto, ham, tomato, red capsicum batons, and Halloumi cheese – very, very yummy! Sunday night is starting to become omelet night, so that’s what we had tonight, and for dessert I had two small fresh apricots, and a blueberry Chia Pod. Julian also found three figs on the branches hanging over the back fence, which he picked, to save them from the birds, but they weren’t quite ripe enough to eat tonight (which is why I had the apricots!) but I think that two of them should be about ripe enough to eat by tomorrow night – I hope so, anyway! 🙂

Weigh-in this morning. Was a bit of a shocker! Oh well, I wanted to go up – a bit, but I certainly wasn’t expecting almost a full kilo! I went up eight points, from 62.0kg to 62.8kg, all in one foul swoop! I guess that just goes to show how many calories are in a salted caramel brownie, and a rather buttery chicken and pesto toastie, despite all the standing and walking and wrestling with the trolley… Julian thinks it’s most likely fluid, because even a buttery chicken and pesto toastie and a salted caramel brownie shouldn’t put on almost a full kilo overnight – but, we’ll see what tomorrow brings… but I’ll be back to the Ryvita crispbreads and the low-fat ricotta again for a couple of days, anyway, I think…

So, apart from the cleaning lady in the morning, and Josh’s visit in the afternoon, I think I have pretty much the rest of the day to myself. Of course, it’s Settlement Day for the Doncaster apartment around noon tomorrow, and then Settlement for the house in Adelaide the next day (Tuesday) – they’re not so much “sad” days, as perhaps “reflection and remembrance” days – time to think back on everything that happened in those two homes, the good things as well as the bad and sad things, because everything that happened in them, all our memories, even if sometimes (or even a lot of the time) our memories are a bit “rose-tinted” if not with what actually happened, but with what we imagined, or would have liked to have happened, it’s all these little memories, tinted or not, that make us the people we are today. And on that somewhat slightly whimsical and philosophical note, that’s about it from me again for tonight! 🙂 Don’t forget to drop in again tomorrow night to find out what on earth my weight thinks it’s doing, how Arisnoë’s struggle to get to level 90 is going, and whether the Settlement for Doncaster went through without any hitches! However, until tomorrow night, please do try to bee good, don’t forget that the only disability in life is a bad attitude… and remember to look after yourselves, to always drive carefully, and to keep cool – or warm – depending on the weather… but above all, please remember to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201602.27

Boy, are my arms going to be sore tomorrow! We went out this morning, around about eleven-ish, for our last visit to, and walk around, the apartment in Doncaster. We’ve left the keys on the kitchen bench for the new owners on Monday – we won’t even be able to let ourselves into the apartment, or the underground car park again, unless we’re invited in by someone. It’s very sad. When we were leaving – Julian had to open the car park door manually – I noticed that there were cars parked directly opposite the garage entrance, which I growled about – they’d always been designated as “No Standing Anytime” zones, and been reasonably well policed by the local Council (especially when their funds needed a “top-up”, most easily obtained from parking fines!) because it’s a very narrow little side street, and cars parked directly opposite the entrance made the exit from, and entry to the underground car park almost impossible. However, it seems that the Council have “changed their minds” (read: “been induced”*) and made parking a few scant meters away from the car park entry perfectly permissible! This was always one of the local residents’ main objection to the enormous number of new High Rise Apartments on Doncaster Hill being given planning permission – there’s simply not enough public parking available in the area, because even if the new apartments do put in underground car parks, they’re only for the residents of that particular apartment block, so what with the narrow side streets, plus the amount of “spillover” from the new apartments (not to mention the number of workmen constructing the new High Rise “next door”!) the number of public parking spaces available has become a really big problem! Doncaster Shoppingtown certainly can’t cope with the extra traffic and parking – when they enlarged and refurbished the centre several years ago they simply didn’t put in any extra parking, and the reason for the “No Standing Anytime” regulations in the nearby side streets was primarily because of the spillover from Shoppingtown in the first place! Anyway, by the time we were ready to leave, the car was jam-packed to the gunnels with items and objects which had been “overlooked”, or simply “not noticed”! We have a Mercedes station wagon – beg’in y’re pardon mi lords ‘n ladies, Estate wagon, and it was packed! We didn’t even have room to be able to fit in the Dry Cleaning, which we were going to pick up today! However, we did go over the road to have a cup of coffee, some lunch, and do a bit of shopping (though how we managed to fit that into the car is anyone’s guess!) I tell you what, that cup of coffee went down faster than the first cold tinny at a butcher’s picnic! We’d been over at the apartment for more than a couple of hours, and I’d been standing the whole time – so I think my back, as well as my arms, is going to be doing a fair bit of grizzling tomorrow! We’d thought that we might have our coffee and lunch at a nice little place opposite Coles – “Jones the Grocer”, which has been there for years and years – but it’s gone! Closed up! Empty! 😦 Luckily the Coffee Shop, “Coffee Hit” close by was still extant, so that’s where we sat down and had a bit of a rest while we guzzled our coffee and ate our lunch. After lunch we went into Coles to do our shopping, and then we headed back to the car. I wanted to call in at Butterfly – a nice little kiosk-y place that sold silver jewelry – I’m after a couple of guard rings with which to stop my “good” rings from falling off my fingers (which my big amethyst ring is doing its best to do, even while I’m typing! And I even have a guard ring to keep it on – but it doesn’t seem to be working terribly well… I think I need a guard ring for the guard ring!) Anyway, while Julian went to get something from JB HiFi, I tried to make my way to Butterfly… but instead of pushing sedately along in front of me, my shopping trolley decided it wanted to go “somewhere else” – off to the right – somewhere, anywhere – as long as it was to the right! I quite literally wrestled it along until I got to a corner… I turned the corner, almost pulling my arms out of their sockets hauling the [*naughty-word*] recalcitrant shopping trolley around with me. I eventually got it around the corner, and stopped for a second or four to catch my breath, then off I went again. But this time, the trolley decided that it absolutely, positively, had to go left! Once more, I wrestled the damn thing along to Butter… it was gone! Not a trace of it left! It’s now yet another coffee shop-slash-eatery type place! Oh, ye ghods and little fishes! Well, I’d told Julian that I’d catch up with him at the Concierge desk at the Valet Car Park, so off I trundled, wrestling that [*rude word*] trolley all the way to the car park. Of course, and naturally, as soon as Julian turned up, the trolley started behaving like a little [*very rude word!*] saint! (Julian seems to have that effect on mechanical things – as soon as they see him, they start doing what they’re supposed to do, instead of playing up and not working properly!) So – that’s why I’m going to have very sore arms tomorrow! I could feel my muscles popping and protesting every time I wrestled that [censored!] trolley into the right direction! Needless to say, I have not done my lunchtime treadmilling today, either, because not only did I walk the length and breadth of Doncaster Shoppingtown twice, I did it whilst wrestling with an extremely recalcitrant shopping trolley!

Food stuffz: last night we had pan-fried chicken, sugar-snap peas, half a tomato, and some of the very nice “sea salt and cracked pepper” oven cooked chips. For dessert I had one of Julian’s low-fat yoghurts – the “mixed berry” one this time. For lunch today I had a very nice “Toastie” – a chicken, cheese and pesto one – probably one of the only examples of a “commercial” chicken, cheese and “something” sandwich, or “Toasty”, that didn’t have avocado in it (I hate avocado!) and I have to say, it was one of the nicest toasties that I’ve had for quite some time! Mind you, it was almost dripping with butter and mayo… but I pretended not to notice! 😉 For dessert I had… a salted caramel brownie – and it was scrumptious! 🙂 Tonight we’re having Julian-made hamburgers, with all the usuals, which I’m really looking forward to, and for dessert tonight I’ll probably opt for another one of those very strange Chia Pods…

Weigh-in this morning (*sigh*) More of the same, I’m afraid – at the moment I’m hovering – or should that be “dithering” – between two (musical!) notes (so to speak) I went back up one point this morning, from 61.9kg to 62.0kg – so I’m afraid that I can’t count that as any sort of “victory” :/ So, today I ate a very buttery toastie, and a very sweet and sinful salted caramel brownie, and I didn’t do my lunchtime treadmilling – on the other hand, I stood up and walked around for over two hours, then I walked the length and breadth of Doncaster Shoppingtown, twice – wrestling a stupid shopping trolley down one entire length – and each will probably cancel the other out – so who knows what the scales will tell me tomorrow! Anyway, it’ll certainly be a very interesting weigh-in tomorrow! 😉

And of course, tomorrow is Sunday, when we do our usual “Pas de Deux en Draenor”. I’ve had to turn my “gaining experience” counter off – having to do that Ogre Waygate quest twice has put me a lot further ahead of Mouselet than I should be. I’ll turn it back on again when he catches up to me – but for the nonce, I can go out doing all sorts of Garrison quests with impunity, knowing that I won’t be getting too far ahead. And that, gentle readers, is about it from me again this evening! Don’t forget to call in again tomorrow night to find out how Wynterthyme and Mouselet fared in Draenor – did they die, or did they not? Did they level up? What did my weight decide to do in the morning, and will I be depressed or elated about it? But no matter what happens (or doesn’t happen!) there’s sure to be lots of news and interesting bits and pieces for all of you to enjoy! So until then, do try very hard to bee good, remember that children learn more from what you are than what you teach, and don’t forget to keep warm – or cool – depending on the weather, to look after yourselves, and to always drive carefully… but above all, don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

*“been induced” – make of that what you will!

Winter’s log, earthdate 201602.26

Yes, I’m late again, but that’s because my favourite eldest daughter has been over – Julian’s driving her home as I write. We had a really interesting day – she’s trying to learn Italian with a program on her phone, and not doing too badly with it (though her pronunciation leaves a fair bit to be desired!) I’ve lent her my old Italian text-book, as it has a lot of extra vocabulary in it, plus the parsing of sentences and the conjugating of verbs, that should be a bit of a help for her… Actually, it’s not really “my” old text-book, it was my father’s first (the name “A. Benini” is written on the flyleaf) and although Italian was always spoken in the home, because he was taking Italian as a school subject, he had to have the text-book. My mother used it next, when she met Dad and decided to learn Italian, and then the old, and somewhat dog-eared text-book was passed on to me, when I took Italian and French for Matric (Year 12 – and being the lazy individual that I am, I took all the easy subjects – English, English Literature, Biology, Art, French and Italian) So it’s a well used, slightly dilapidated, old book – but still serviceable in teaching the rudiments and basics of the Italian language – and I can help her with her pronunciation. We watched one episode of “Supergirl”, one episode of “The 100”, two episodes of “The Shannara Chronicles”, which means that we won’t have any left to watch next week because Lee will probably be over here before the next one becomes available. We also watched the first episode of a new show, called “Sense8” – an extremely confusing story about a group of people around the world who are suddenly linked mentally, and must find a way to survive being hunted by those who see them as a threat to the world’s order – well, Lee liked it, but I found that first episode to be extremely confusing (or maybe I’m just too old to understand the issues! 😉 ) For the moment, I’ll give it “the benefit of the doubt” and watch another one next week, but if I hadn’t been briefed about the story line I wouldn’t have had a clue as to what was going on! After that, we did have some “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” to watch, but we didn’t – we sat and talked about weight loss, and going back to uni, and about a short story competition in a magazine with a $5000 prize, which said that the story could be about anything we wanted, but that it had to have “threads” as either a major or a minor theme – I wasn’t sure what they meant by “threads” – did they mean actual physical threads, as in sewing or weaving, or did they mean metaphorical threads, as in following the threads of an idea, or a conversation – apparently, as they hadn’t specified one of the other, the author was free to treat the theme as either! I suppose I’m sort-of toying with the idea of entering – it’s only 1500 words, which is about what I write here every night, so it’s not as though it would take me ages to write, and I have a couple of ideas about the “threads” theme, so at the moment I’m in a bit of a “will I, or won’t I?” frame of mind… I’m also toying with the idea of picking up a paint brush again – it’s been a very long time since I did any actual painting – I’ve mostly worked with digital art for the last… goodness knows how long (ye ghods! I just counted on my fingers and toes! Has it really been that long?! more than thirty years, since I last picked up a paintbrush?! 😮 ) What if I’ve forgotten how? In truth, the real reason that I haven’t gone back to art is that I have no idea what I’d paint – or even what I’d like to paint, or want to paint – and I’m a bit scared that I’d get the paint and all (which isn’t cheap!) and it’d just sit there, unused, because I didn’t know what to paint! So, I’ll just give the typical “motherly” response to whether I will or whether I won’t (about both the painting and the short story) which is “We’ll see…” which really means “not this week, darling – next week, perhaps…” – or in other words, “No!” 😉

Food stuffz: last night we had sausages – they were the King Island Beef ones, which I like a lot – and we had sugar-snap peas, half a tomato, and some more of the extremely nice “sea salt and cracked pepper” chips – if you haven’t tried them, you should! I reckon they’re a cut above your normal or garden variety oven baked chips! Oh, and I had one of the Dark CoCoa Chia Pods for dessert – I still can’t get over how very weird they are, with their gloopyness, that isn’t really gloopy, and their crunchiness, which isn’t really crunchy… Today for lunch I had a very delicious sandwich, made with multi-grain bread, probably a lick of butter, some of the basil pesto hummus, and some of the chicken tikka sandwich chunks. Quite, quite delicious! Tonight we’re having pan-fried chicken, with sugar-snap peas, half a store-bought tomato (ours still aren’t ripe enough to pick, and neither, unfortunately, are the figs! 😦 ) and hopefully, some more of those nice “sea salt and cracked pepper” chips. I might have another low-far yoghurt for dessert tonight – but I’ll see how I feel after the chicken… Tomorrow night, Julian is going to make home-made hamburgers, with very lean mince meat, onions, capsicum, and an egg (for binding purposes) 😉 and I reckon that mashed potatoes would go well with those… (Julian really does make delicious hamburgers!)

Weigh-in this morning. Was disgraceful! That’s right, I went down another point, from 62.0kg to 61.9kg! So, I didn’t do my lunchtime treadmilling today – besides, my favourite eldest daughter was here – I couldn’t very well just waltz off to the treadmillery, and leave her sitting there twiddling her thumbs, now could I?! 🙂 But I’m getting a little concerned – I’m eating enough at each meal that I feel almost uncomfortably full when I’ve finished, and also, I don’t want to stretch my stomach too much – so in desperation, I didn’t do my second walk today… I’ll see how I go on the scales tomorrow – hopefully I’ll go back up a bit…

Today Flipper went back to the Vet for her post-op check-up, and they’re very pleased with her – they don’t need to see her again regarding her teeth for another six months, and she can have her beloved Pussy Biscuits back! As soon as she got home, I put the bowl of Pussy Biscuits down for her, and she’s gobbled almost half the bowl full! Obviously the lack of chewing-type teeth isn’t preventing her from being a greedy little glutton! I’ve suggested to Julian that we leave the Pussy Biscuits out for her in the morning, and put them away again in the early afternoon, as she’s not eaten her dinner tonight – I’ll go and put them away shortly, and hopefully she’ll eat her dinner later on (it has all her blood pressure and pain relieving medications in it, you see) Tomorrow, Julian and I are off for our last visit to the Doncaster apartment (*sniffle*) I’m so very sad to have to leave that place – it was really wonderful living there, and I really resent the actions of the Doncaster Council… Oh, don’t get me wrong – I love this place, and I’m very glad we moved here – and at long last I have my promised veggie garden 🙂 (not to mention the kindly and generous fig tree next door, which insists on hanging a branch or two over our fence and presenting us with a few very delicious figs, every now and then!) …but I’m still going to miss the apartment, its location, and its magnificent views. Anyway, that’s about it from me for this evening – but drop in again tomorrow night, to find out if doing only one treadmillathon today added any more to my weight or not, if Flipper went and finished off her dinner overnight (because I forgot to put her bowl of Pussy Biscuits away before!) and how Arisnoë is going on her climb towards level 90, and my first Horde Garrison! 🙂 Until then, please remember to bee good, and don’t forget to laugh loudly, laugh often, and most importantly, laugh at yourselves… remember to always drive carefully, to keep warm – or cool – depending on our truly delightful Melbourne weather, and to look after yourselves… but above all, please remember to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201602.25

Well, here we are, another day, another blog… It’s been a very quiet day today – Julian’s been (mostly) working in the Office, and I’ve been (mostly) playing WoW, as well as hunting for patterns and/or textures to use with the header here. I found quite a lot actually, and have pretty much tested them all out… unfortunately, most of what I’d call the “better ones”, are too big, and don’t fit properly into the header dimensions. There are ways around that, of course – most patterns have their dimensions on them, so I can create a new image exactly that size and fill it with the pattern – then shrink the entire “canvas”, which also shrinks the pattern, and “save as” = new name given by me. If that doesn’t work (because the dimensions of the pattern aren’t given) I just create a very large canvas, fill it with the pattern, and then work out where the pattern repeats – usually in the centre of an “X marks the spot” junction. Draw a line around the edges of the pattern and crop to the correct size. I’m actually pretty good at chopping out bits of a pattern and getting it to “repeat”, or “tile” correctly – so I have a whole slew of patterns to work with – I’ve saved a few of them, and will get a round tuit one of these days, if I can find a shop that still sells them – round tuits are getting quite scarce, you know! 😉

So, I WoW’d for most of this morning – I brought poor old Wynterthyme back to her Garrison, and very, very stupidly, I forgot to mark where the Ogre Waygate was on the map! I had enough trouble finding it in the first place, and there I was, standing right in front of the damned thing, and I just… Hearthed back to the Garrison! What on earth was I thinking?! Not much, obviously! *grrr!* Oh well, if I didn’t “accidentally” put the other 48 Ogre Waystones in my bank (and I’m pretty sure I didn’t!) I’m going to have to go “farming” them again – luckily Ogres are very big, extremely slow-witted, ultra-easy to kill (and they do make such a satisfying “thump” when they hit the floor!) and most of them carry one or two Waystones… but it’s the mystery of what happened to 48 of my 49 Ogre Waystones that’s got me stumped! It’s not that I really mind having to go out and get some more, it’s just that I want to know what happened to the ones I had! Anyway, I didn’t play with Wynterthyme for very long – I’m still in too much of a hurry to get Arisnoë up to level 90, so back to Uldum I went… A lot of the quests there are really buggy – I had to get Julian to help me do two of them because they just wouldn’t run on my machine! They worked fine on his – but kept bugging out on mine! *pout* S’not fair, I tell you! I’ve managed to get her just half way through level 85, which isn’t too bad, considering that she’d only just dinged 85 before I stopped playing yesterday. Unfortunately I don’t think I have much more of Uldum to do, which is a shame, because that’ll mean that I have to go back to Deepholm, which I really don’t like! I did get a “breadcrumb” quest to go back to see the War Chief in Orgrimmar, so maybe he’ll have something better than Deepholm for me, if I smile sweetly at him and flutter my eyelashes a lot… 😉

Poor little Flipper is not going to be a happy girl tomorrow – she’s going to be off bright and early to have her post-op checkup! It’s ridiculously early – 9.15am, for crying out loud! Still, an early start can be a good thing – it means I might be able to get a bit of WoW-ing in before Julian takes off to pick up my favourite eldest daughter… I’m not quite sure how we’re going to work it – we were discussing it a few minutes ago, and I think I said something along the lines of “if we have a really early breakfast before you take Flipper up, after she’s been seen and got the “All Clear” tick of approval”, you could go and pick up Lee on your way back home with Flipper” – but on second thoughts, maybe it would be better to take Flipper up to the Vet, have her checked, and then bring her straight back here – I can do my treadmilling while Julian’s out with Flipper, and we can have our breakfast when they get back – then we can both go to pick up my favourite eldest daughter. Julian can drop me off at The Glen on the way to pick her up, because I have to dart into Sussan to exchange a couple of tops I bought the other day (one of them is actually pictured in the link – the other is the blue one – but they’re too big, so I need to get the next size down) and then pick me up again on his way back home with Lee! Much more civilized! 😉 Anyway, we’ll see what he thinks…

Food stuffz: we had some lovely steak last night – as I think I mentioned, it wasn’t King Island Eye Fillet this time, it was a grain-fed New York Sirloin, and it was absolutely delicious! Really, really nice – the chips were a new variation on ye olde oven baked chips – “sea salt and cracked pepper” – and they really were nice! I haven’t seen the packet, so I can’t tell you who produces them, but I’ll find out for you – they really are worth trying (and if you don’t like them, pack them in a box with some dry ice, and leave them on our front doorstep, please! I’m sure we’ll be able to give them a good home! 😉 ) plus we had steamed Broccolini, and our usual half a tomato – store-bought at the moment, because none of ours are ripe enough to eat yet! I didn’t have a Chia Pod last night, I had one of Julian’s low-fat yoghurts… Lunch today was a reprise of the wrap we had yesterday, with the sourdough flat-bread, because Julian thought that it might have given him a bit of indigestion yesterday, so he wanted to see what would happen if he had it again. I thought it was delicious yesterday, and it was just as delicious today! Tonight we’re having sausages – not quite sure what sort (Julian’s on the phone so I can’t ask him!) and we’ll have the usual with it – probably more of the “sea salt and cracked pepper” chips, half a tomato, and beans (or more Broccolini – once again – I can’t ask Julian, because he’s still on the phone) Tonight I’ll have a Chia Pod for dessert – and if that fig that Julian picked last night has ripened enough, I’ll have that as well… because…

Weigh-in this morning. I was aghast! Taken aback! Nonplussed! I’d gone down another two points! From 62.2kg to 62.0kg! And I’ve been eating lots! I’ve been eating almost to the point where I feel uncomfortable! And I’m just going down! Obviously my body has decided that it doesn’t want to sit at around 65kg (forget Norway! 70kg!) For a while I thought it was going to “settle” around the 64kg mark, but apparently it didn’t like that weight either, or 63kg, so now it’s squatting around the 62kg mark, to see how comfortable that is! I really hope that 62kg is going to be the “Baby Bear’s Chair” of weight for me!

Anyway, as I said, my favourite eldest daughter will be over tomorrow, and we’ve just heard from my favourite youngest daughter – she was tail-ended on her way home tonight – thank heavens she’s alright, but it sounds as though considerable damage was done to her car… It never rains but it pours, for my poor little girl! 😦 She’s been through some really rotten patches lately – please send all good thoughts her way! Anyway – that’s about it from me for tonight – call back tomorrow to find out all the latest news on Flipper, and whether she can have her very favourite Pussy Biscuits back again or not, and to find out all the latest on the Kate saga – how did it happen, how much damage was done to her car, and whether it’s repairable, or a write-off. You’ll also find out if I managed to get my two tops changed over, what my favourite eldest daughter and I watched on TV (there should be two? Shannara Chronicles, I think!) and, last but not least, what my weight is doing – has it gone up? (hopefully!) down? (hopefully not!) or stayed the same? (meh!) But until then, do try really hard to bee good, remember that life doesn’t imitate art, it imitates bad television; and don’t forget to always drive carefully, to keep cool – or warm – depending on the weather, and to look after yourselves… but above all, don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201602.24

Well, as you can see, I’m still tweaking the header around a bit – I’ve made three versions of it, all with different patterns and colours, plus the “plain-jane” version that you all saw last night. As time permits, I’ll try out different patterns – if I can get around to making some, or if I can find any patterns or textures elsewhere that I think are suitable. In the meantime, be prepared to put up with the “home-grown” variety! 😉 This morning Julian took off to play Taxi-man for my favourite eldest daughter – she went off to uni to see if she could get her concession card-thingy before next week, only to find that she’s no longer eligible for it, so it was a bit of a wasted trip! But Julian got to go over to Doncaster yet again, where he had to drop off some Dry Cleaning, and… ferry some more “stuff” over from the apartment! Yanno, every time I say “Is that the lot, or is there anything else that has to be picked up over there?” I get an “Nope! That’s the lot! It’s all empty now!” answer… and then a couple of days later, it’s “There’s another load to bring over…” Well, all I can say is “Aaarrggghhhh!” The purchasers asked for, and got, a long Settlement, and Settlement Day was supposed to have been this week, but they’ve asked for an extension – so we’ve given them until next Monday. Settlement Day is now next Monday, February 29th. …and if they’re still not ready to settle, I’m afraid they’ll forfeit their somewhat hefty deposit, and we’ll just have to start all over again!

Julian also picked up some coffee pods from the Nespresso shop while he was over at Doncaster, and we’re trying out one of their new ones – the coffee is supposed to be from Rwanda, or something, but I don’t really like it very much – I’ll drink it, because it’s coffee, but I’d much rather have my usual Ciocattino (chocolate flavoured coffee) or one of their “Limited Edition” Specials, which, if you’re really lucky, you can still buy! I wish they’d make them a part of their “regular” flavours! Both the Vanilla Amaretti (a really delicious Amaretto flavoured coffee) and the Ciocco Ginger (a yummy choc-ginger flavoured coffee!) would be great “regular” sellers as they’re exceptionally nice! 🙂

So… what did I do to amuse myself this morning while Julian was fruitlessly running around in circles? Why, let’s see… Oh, that’s right, I remember now! I played  a bit of WoW! 🙂 I ran Arisnoë around Deepholm, which I’ve decided that I hate with a passion! It’s dark. It has tall, narrow spires of rock all over the place that are awkward and difficult to work around. It’s dark… and the quest descriptions/instructions are totally hopeless and frustrating. Apart from the thick gold “pointer” arrow, the map is small and lacks any sort of proper identifying clues as to where you should be going to do something. And above all, it’s dark! Ahh – sorry, I said that already, didn’t I! If there’s anything I really hate having to quest in, you’ll find that “questing and fighting in the dark” is up there near the top of the list, followed closely by “questing and fighting in water”! Anyway, I persevered, and actually went up a level, and then – miracle of miracles – I got sent off to Ulduar! It’s a desert city, think “Ancient Egypt” before time and general wear-and-tear broke down all the statues, buildings, temples, etc. into ruins!  So I’ve been questing around there, too – as I expected, both Deepholm and Ulduar have been nerfed so heavily that fighting isn’t really a hardship – the hardship part comes in knowing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing in these ruddy, silly quests! Thank heavens for Google! When I got a bit sick and tired of saying “bang. you’re dead”, I went and took Wynterthyme out to try and harvest some trees, and to start off a Garrison quest to upgrade my fledgling Mage’s Tower (it actually looks more like a Circus Tent at the moment!) Wynterthyme’s doing quite well at the moment – hopefully, by the close of tonight I should have enough of the Ogre’s Waystones to get my Mage’s Tower upgrade! 🙂

Then Julian got home, and while he fiddled with luncheon preparations, I went to do my second (and final) walk for the day – and then we had lunch. I didn’t get back to WoW after lunch – it was already fairly late, and I had a splitting headache, so I took some Panadol and did a bit of fiddling with the header graphic for this Template – and by then it was time to start writing! That was an hour and a half ago (I’m also having trouble staying awake and still have a slight headache – I hope I’m not coming down with something! I feel fine otherwise though…) Oh, have any of you heard of Julian Clary? He’s a British comedian, a true exhibitionist – very witty, terribly funny (I think, anyway) and a very interesting character all round – anyway, he’s also written an autobiography and several novels, and now he’s turned his hand to writing children’s books. Towards the end of the article it states: “Be it children’s or adult’s novels, Clary has a strong work ethic, sitting down to write 1000 words a day.” Uhh… say what? I write over a thousand words a day, just writing this blog, and shrug it off as just “something one does every day” – but if I were a published author (well, I am, sort-of, but that’s beside the point! What I mean is, I don’t do it for a living!) with work commitments, and only wrote as much as I write every day for my blog, I’d be starting to panic that I wasn’t working hard enough, or up to my publisher’s expectations! I dunno – is 1000 words a day enough for someone writing for a living? As a “serious” author, should he be writing more? And as a “bored housewife blogger”, should I be writing less?! (Oi! Don’t answer that! I’ll write as much as I want, thank you very much! 😉 )

Food stuffz: well, we had such a big lunch yesterday that neither Julian nor I had any dinner last night – I had a banana Chia Pod, of which I gave Julian a taste, because it was “interesting” – and while it was very “banana-ish”, I don’t think we’ll get it again… Julian had one of his low-fat yoghurts, and that was it! Our dinner! Julian did pick one of the figs last night, but it’s not quite ripe enough to eat, so I didn’t have it. I’ll see how it is tonight, but I have a feeling it’s going to take another day to ripen properly. Today for lunch we had wraps, made with sourdough flat bread, some basil-pesto hummus, tomato, red capsicum batons, and chunks of Halloumi cheese – and once again, it was quite delicious! The sourdough flat bread was interesting too – I quite liked it, but it wasn’t quite as big as the ordinary flat bread, and Julian said it tore a lot more easily, so to be careful with it (though mine didn’t tear at all!) Tonight for dinner we’re having steak – not the King Island eye fillet this time, but New York Sirloin (I think!) – with the usual – “sea salt and cracked pepper” chips, broccolini, and our usual half a tomato, and I’ll either have another Chia Pod, or a low-fat yoghurt for dessert! I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow, because…

Weigh-in this morning. I was quite disgusted! Pasta! BLT! Big piece of Orange and Clementine cake! Well, alright, we didn’t have dinner because we just weren’t hungry, but even so! I went back down two points! From 62.4kg to 62.2kg again! Maybe the wrap for lunch today will help – and here was me thinking that it’d be time to hit the Ryvita crispbread for lunch again, after all my splurging! *sigh* Perhaps I should just eat, and see what happens…

Well, tomorrow looks like being another day very much like today – Julian wants to have an “at home” day – he has letters to write, a car to unpack , pictures to hang, etc., etc – and I guess I have some WoW-ing to do! 😉 My favourite eldest daughter will be over on Friday, and that’ll be the end of another week! And that’s pretty much it from me again for this evening! Please do drop in again tomorrow night to see if my weight is still surprising me, and whether or not I’ve been able to get Arisnoë any higher on the ladder to level 90 and a Garrison! There’ll be lots to tell you all, so don’t be shy and miss out! 😉 In the meantime, do try terribly hard to bee good, don’t forget that a year from now you may wish you had started today, and remember to look after yourselves, to always drive carefully, and to keep cool – or warm – depending on the weather – but above all, remember to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201602.23

It’s been a bit of a strange day today – as I mentioned last night, we had to dart off first thing this morning to sign some papers for the Settlement of our Doncaster apartment, and then we were supposed to be dropping by and picking up my favourite eldest daughter, only she messaged us this morning saying that she wasn’t feeling the best so could she take a rain check please? So, we didn’t pick her up as planned, but we did go on to The Glen to pick up a few sundries, like Flipper Food, because until the Vet gives her the all clear, she’s not allowed to have the large bowl of Pussy Biscuits (kibble) that she always had to graze on when she got a bit peckish. I used to top it up and tidy it a bit every night because she’s a very messy eater, but I don’t think either of us really realised just how much of it she used to eat (though we certainly did notice on the days when she’d munch her way through half a cereal bowl’s worth of Pussy Biscuits!) so of course, without this “nibble bowl” always available, she’s been getting very hungry and we’ve had to feed her extra tinned food to compensate. Honestly, she’s just so much more betterer now that she’s had those teeth removed, and the crater of infection that was under the worst of them all healed and healthy again – she’s become much bolder – and more demanding (something neither of us thought was possible!) she’s even decided that maybe “Mummy” isn’t all that bad, after all, and is now stalking me for pats, when “Daddy” isn’t available! She’s a funny old girl…. 🙂 However, on Friday she’s going off to have her two-week checkup after the surgery, and if the vet gives her the “all clear”, she can have her bowl of Pussy Biscuits back again – though whether she’ll be able to crunch them up or not remains to be seen – she’s still got all of her upper and lower “fangs”, but only one full set of molars left with which to grind up food. The Pussy Biscuits which she likes are quite big – they were specifically designed to “encourage” cats who didn’t like chewing things, to exercise their teeth and gums. We originally got them for my beautiful, sweet Gingee, because he didn’t like to chew his food, and then kept on getting them for Arty, who wasn’t interested in exercising his teeth and gums, either. It was quite amazing to watch them chasing, catching, and “vacuuming” up and swallowing these Pussy Biscuits whole, because they’re almost a centimeter in circumference! Flipper, on the other hand, absolutely loves to stand there and crunch and munch them, getting both her jaws working hard! Hopefully, after Friday, she’ll be able to do so again!  So… where was I? Oh yes, doing the shopping, instead of picking up my favourite eldest daughter! After we’d finished the shopping, we decided to have an early lunch at The Arena, there at The Glen, so as to give ourselves a clear run at whatever we were going to do once we got home – the upshot of which is that neither of us feel much like having any dinner at all tonight! 🙂 I know it’s only four thirty at the moment, and I don’t know about Julian, but I think that I’d be quite happy just to have one of those weird Chia Pods for dinner, and maybe a fig or two, if there are any ripe enough to eat hanging over the back fence…

I did play a bit of WoW when we got home – I started on the first couple of quests in Deepholm with Arisnoë, and was quite annoyed to find that this time, Blizzard have truly outdone themselves in the vague and obscure quest instructions department! I had to not only Google them, but I had to dig really deep into what Google did have available on them. Even Julian couldn’t find out much about one particular quest, where you had to locate three “clues” – we could both find two of them, but neither of us could find the first one! I’m happy to say, however, that I finally found it – more by good luck than good management! By the time I’d completed that first quest chain I was so exhausted that I quit out of the game, thinking that I’d make a nice, early start on tonight’s blog instead of continuing to bash my head against that lovely hard brick wall that is Blizzard’s warped idea of “quest instructions”! Unfortunately, I hit a snag there too, because I found a new Template/Theme-thingy, which naturally, I had to try out… and you see the result before you! What do you think of it? (Please like it! It cost $93!) I thought it looked interesting, with a static “header” on the left, and scrolling text on the right hand side – the menu slides out over the top of the header, and the “widgets” (calendar, archives, etc.) are down the bottom. [Listening to at the moment: Louis Barabbas and the Bedlam Six – “Memoir Noir– well worth a listen!] It took me about 20 minutes all told to knock up the static header, and maybe another 20 minutes to get everything looking and (hopefully!) working properly – and even so, I still started on this nice and early! So get used to it – it’s here for a while! 😉

Food stuffz: well, I had a small-ish bowl of pasta with tomato sauce and some grated Parmesan cheese for dinner last night, and one of those Chia Pods for dessert – Vanilla flavoured this time, which is quite bland, but it’s still very nice… for lunch today I had a BLT on dark rye bread, which was very nice – but they were a titch heavy-handed with the mayo, and the accompanying “salad” was dressed, so I didn’t eat it (I think I said the other night that I like my salads naked!) and… for dessert… I had a piece of “Orange and Clementine gluten-free cake”, which was delicious! It reminded me of steamed puddings my mother used to make when I was growing up – I still have the recipe! 🙂 It’s a basic sponge pudding mixture, but when you’re “steaming” it, you grease the pudding steamer, and put two large (very large! “generous” might be a better term to use…) Tablespoons of whatever jam you have to hand, in the bottom of the greased pudding steamer. Pour the sponge pudding mixture on top of the jam, put on the lid and seal the pudding steamer. Cook for (however long it takes – from memory, about 20 to 25 minutes, but please don’t quote me on that!) When cooked, remove the lid, place a plate over the top of the pudding steamer, and invert – carefully lift the pudding steamer off and “Viola”, as the French say! A delicious steamed pudding, the hot jam steaming, and trickling down the sides of the yummy pudding! 🙂 There are as many “variations” as you have imagination! Mum used to use Golden Syrup, raspberry or strawberry jam, and for the “variation” that the Orange and Clementine cake today reminded me of – when we were all out of “sweet” jams and Golden Syrup, Mum would grate the rind of an orange (we always had fresh oranges in the house) and mix the resulting zest into the basic sponge mixture, then she’d use marmalade in the bottom of the pudding steamer – it was my absolute favourite (with the Golden Syrup variation a very close second!) Anyway, that’s what the Orange and Clementine cake tasted like – even the texture was similar! Ahhh… nostalgia! 😉 As I said earlier – I don’t think we’ll be having much dinner tonight! 😉

Weigh-in this morning. Well, so much for the pasta for dinner! Mind you, if I hadn’t had the pasta, I’d probably have ruddy-well lost weight again! I went from 62,4kg to 62.4kg – in other words, I stayed the same! Arrgggh! What’s a girl supposed to do to go up – just a bit?! Anyway, I’m sure to go up a bit more tomorrow – a BLT on dark rye is not to be sneezed at, and neither is a lovely, densely-textured piece of Orange and Clementine cake that reminds one of childhood desserts. I didn’t do my second treadmilling this afternoon because I walked the length and breadth of The Glen, twice – from David Jones to the Fresh Food market (so-called!) on the far side of Woolworths – so I’m hoping for “great improvements” when I hop on the scales tomorrow morning! (who’d-a-thunk it! Winter complaining that she’s not putting enough weight on, instead of weeping and wailing that she can’t lose enough, fast enough! :/ )

And so to tomorrow – in the morning Julian will be picking up my favourite eldest daughter and taking her to Deakin – she needs to sign up for various Student “things”, and Julian needs to pick up the dry cleaning. However, he won’t be bringing her back here after she’s done all her joining and signing, he’ll drop her off at her place. She’ll be coming over on Friday! 🙂 I’ll probably keep plugging away at the Deepholm quests – which reminds me! As you know, my clever biggest little girl got herself into the Alpha testing of the next World of Warcraft expansion, “Legion” – and they’re bringing in the Gnome Hunters, at long last! (*Winter claps her hands with delight*) They’re also introducing a new Class – Demon Hunters – which I might try out, the way I tried out the Death Knights when they were first introduced, but I doubt that I’ll stick with them as they’re more of a melee Class than a “stand back and pick-em-off one at a time” Beastmaster Hunter (which is the way I prefer to play, coward that I am! 😉 ) Anyway, once again, that’s about it from me for tonight! Do look in again tomorrow night, to see if the pasta, the BLT, and the Orange and Clementine cake have done their job or not, and whether I’ve come to terms with taking Arisnoë through Deepholm, despite the ridiculous and sketchy quest details! Until then though, please continue to bee as good as you can, remember to believe in yourself, and you can dream without fear, and don’t forget to keep cool – or warm – depending on what the Melbourne weather throws at you, to always drive carefully, and to look after yourselves – but most importantly, don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201602.22

Here I am, late again! Never mind – it’s been a busy day! And guess what! Arisnoë has finished Mount Hyjal, and has moved on to Deepholm, an underground continent that is entered through the Maelstrom, a massive whirlpool in the ocean between Kalimdor and The Eastern Kingdoms. I have worked my way through Deepholm before, with Wynterthyme and Mouselet, but I can’t say that I remember very much of it (probably mercifully, or I’d probably be changing my mind about wanting to get my very first Horde Garrison with Arisnoë!) I’m not too worried though – Blizzard seem to have nerfed things pretty thoroughly all through the game – and if Rizzy didn’t have any problems in Mount Hyjal, I can’t really see her having too many in Deepholm! (let’s just hope that they don’t turn out to be “famous last words”! 😉 ) I did have a pretty good run through Mount Hyjal though, because I remember it as being pretty tough going, the last time I went through there – so either my memory is “faulty”, or Blizzard have toned it down more than a few notches, and hopefully, Deepholm will be more of the same! I’m afraid I haven’t done much more about looking into Garrisons, Garrison set-ups, and Followers – I’ve been too flat-out getting Arisnoë through Mount Hyjal! I didn’t even have time to go back to Orgrimmar to visit the Bank and empty out my bulging backpacks before being rudely shunted off to Deepholm! Still, I managed to find the Portal back to Orgrimmar there, and my backpacks are now suitably cleaned out for any and all goodies that I might come across in this dark and slightly claustrophobic new zone… I’m a bit put out though – I thought I’d be going off to Pandaria after Mount Hyjal, and was quite looking forward to the pretty scenery, and I admit, I was a trifle annoyed to find myself being told to jump into the Maelstrom instead!

Julian has brought my old school Art Folio back from Doncaster – of course, it’s all wrapped up like an Egyptian Mummy, so that bits and pieces of art-work don’t fall out and get lost, and I don’t dare undo the package until I’ve found a suitable home for the Folio and its contents. It’s a temptation, though! I’m dying to look through it again – I’m especially intrigued by Julian’s mention of a couple of “still life” items in it – to the best of my knowledge, I’ve never done a “still life” – they just ain’t “me”! I can only presume that they’re a couple of mother’s paintings, that somehow got bundled into my Art Folio… unfortunately, I stupidly gave all of my best work away, years ago. I regret that now, but a couple of good pieces should still be there – “The Kindergarten Teacher”, “Cattrio” (three black cats) and “The Flower Seller”, inspired by the musical “My Fair Lady”, when it was on at Her Majesty’s in Melbourne (between 1959 and 1960, which means it was probably done when I was in “Leaving”, or Year 11, as they call it now) So… all I have to do is find a suitable “home” for it all, somewhere over here, and the wrappings can be removed! 🙂

I was having a look out at the veggie garden this afternoon, and there are a couple of decent looking tomatoes coming on, though they’re still barely turning colour – there’s also a couple of fairly sturdy young capsicum plants growing up in the second veggie bed – at the moment they look quite strong and healthy, but I’m wondering if maybe they should be tied to stakes, just in case they get a bit top-heavy? The sugar-snap peas still don’t look as though they’re doing anything, but at least they’re not dying, either… and I spotted… another couple of figs, peeking shyly out at me through their leaves! They look almost ripe, too! 🙂 I’ll get Julian to have a look at them tomorrow because it’d be a real shame if the birds got to them first… 😉 There’s still a bit of debate as to where the pigeon loft should go – I’d always envisaged it as being next to the shed, but with the longest side facing the veggie beds – it’s a hard vision to change, though I can certainly see why it would be much better situated along the fence opposite the shed, and I have to grudgingly admit that Josh is probably right – it just means that I’d have to sit at the other end of the table on the outside deck to see the birds, rather than at the end where I usually sit. I’ll have to get on to Clarke tomorrow, as I have a few more ideas for him…

Food stuffz: well, last night we had omelets for dinner, and for lunch today I had a nice sandwich, with basil and pesto hummus, and some of the really nice (Coles?) chicken-tikka sandwich chunks, or whatever they’re called… and because Julian did have some pasta sauce after all, I had a small-ish bowl of pasta for dinner tonight – with a little bit of grated Parmesan on it, and I had another of those very nice but somewhat weird Chia Pods for dessert. I wonder what the pasta will do to my weight tomorrow morning! :/ (I’ve just had to take some Panadol – I’m having trouble concentrating on what I’m writing – some nasty, invisible “thing” has started hitting the big toe joint of my left foot with a sledge hammer! It won’t stop throbbing! Owwww! *annoyed look*)

Weigh-in this morning. Getting better! 🙂 I went up another two points, from 62.2kg to 62.4kg – I wouldn’t mind going up just a bit higher (hence the pasta for dinner tonight – I miss pasta, you know…) but not too much higher – around 63kg would be good… 🙂 Anyway, at least I finally seem to be getting rid of a bit of excess fluid – my feet (even though my left foot is really giving me hell at the moment) aren’t swollen this evening, for the first time in goodness knows how long, so I’m happy (for a change! 😉 )

My favourite eldest daughter will be over tomorrow – we have to go out early tomorrow, to sign some papers for the sale of the Doncaster apartment – and we’ll pick her up on the way back, as it’s really just up the road from her place, after which we’ll come back here, have some lunch, and watch a few things on television (I’m not sure what, yet!) She’s also sent me two items – one being the trailer for the next season of Orphan Black, one of our favorite series, and which will be going to air on April 14th ( 🙂 I can’t wait! I can’t wait! 🙂 ) and the other is a short fan-fiction story set in the X-Com universe* (about which I know next to nothing!) that she’s just finished, and which I’ll read before I go to bed tonight! 🙂 Josh was over this afternoon, and as usual, my hair looks great, and he’s given us some really good ideas about the pigeon loft, and also on how to train the birds to come home when I let them out to stretch their wings. Julian’s spent most of the day closeted in the office, getting papers ready for the accountant who’s coming over next week, but all in all, it’s been a good day today, and I am well content tonight (probably because I had pasta for dinner! 😉 ) And that, once again, is about it from me for this evening! However, do drop in again tomorrow night – find out if the pasta managed to break the scales or not, and what my favourite eldest daughter and I watched in the way of television series, as well as all of the other little bits and pieces of trivia that make up my day! But until then, please bee good, don’t forget that there’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do, and remember to drive carefully, to keep cool – or warm – depending on the weather, and to look after yourselves… but most importantly, remember to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

*X-COM is a science fiction video game franchise featuring the titular fictional elite international organization tasked with countering alien invasions of Earth. Wikipedia

Winter’s log, earthdate 201602.21

As usual, we had a very enjoyable day in Draenor today – I only died twice, once more than Julian did! 😉 I suppose it was all my fault really – we were trundling around the countryside, felling trees, picking flowers, and – by sheer chance, of course – finding and taking on “bonus” quests, wherever we saw the crossed swords and “Boss Mob” skull icon on the map. “Oh, look!” says me – “there’s a Boss up there – let’s kill it!” – well, it was quite a busy area, with lots of demons and nasties throwing hideous neon lime-green and bright, bright, fluorescent yellow fire bombs every which-where, but “let’s kill it!” seemed to be our war cry at the time, so up we charged! Oh, it was a Boss Mob alright – but not your average, every-day Silver Framed knock-‘im-over in a cuppla shots Boss Mob, oh no! This was a full-scale, very nasty, big, Elite Gold Boss Mob, and what’s more, he wasn’t the only one! What with all the bright green and yellow flashes of the fire bombs going off all around us, we’d failed to see that apart from all the “movie extras” of the minor demons running amok, there wasn’t just one of these Elite Gold Boss Mobs, there were several of them! Of course, we died fairly quickly! We put up a valiant fight, but we fell, all the same. I actually died twice there, and after the second time, we decided that maybe discretion was the better part of valor, and we… moved on. We did a lot of questing that netted us two new Garrison Followers each – one a level 91 Dwarven Death Knight (whom I ended up Retraining, as his only use seemed to be as a Bodyguard, which I didn’t need or want!) and the other, a level 97 Goblin Rogue, who also doesn’t seem to have any abilities except for “Sprint”, which may perhaps be of some small use in running away from danger… I think we did rather well, considering, and the fact that we both managed to ding level 98 was an extra bonus! I’m still having a hard time coming to grips with running a Garrison and organising my Followers, but I’m getting there – and that’s another reason that I want to get Arisnoë up to level 90 – so that I can get her a Garrison too, and build again from the ground up (I could pretty much “build again from the ground up” with Wynterthyme, but it’d cost me dearly in Garrison Resources!) Besides! 😉 I want to see what a Horde Garrison looks like! Oh, and I found out that you can invite other people into your Garrison! They have to be in your party, or Group – and you have to be the Group leader – then they just click on their own portrait, and chose “Visit Leader’s Garrison” from the resulting drop-down menu, and lo and behold, they’re instantly transported to just outside your Garrison’s front entrance – and they can just walk in! I don’t think they can do anything much except run around and look at things, or maybe use the Guild Bank, if they’re in your Guild (or the Personal Banker in the Store Room if they’re not) but at least the Garrison isn’t a total “one-man-band” type of thing. To tell the truth, I didn’t really have time to do more than just briefly scan the information I found on Garrisons this afternoon – I’ll have more of a look at it all tomorrow, along with the link to an article on Garrison Followers that Julian sent me a few minutes ago! Congratulations are in order to my favourite eldest daughter, too, as she’s managed to get herself into the Alpha testing stage of the next expansion – “Legions” – due to be released on September 21st this year! There was a time when I would have been hot on her heels, putting up my hand to participate in the Alpha, too – but I simply don’t have the time any more (or maybe I’m just too lazy!) The advantages of participating in the Alpha tests are that you get to see all of the exciting new stuff before anyone else – the disadvantages are that you cop all the bugs, which you then have to report on, listing all the hows, whys, whats, whens, and wheres – and as I said – maybe I’m just too lazy to volunteer to do that, this time around… 😉

Food stuffz: last night we had frenched lamb cutlets, with our usual half a tomato (one of our own, too!) green beans, and plain, boiled Kipfler potatoes, with some plain, low-fat Greek yoghurt drizzled over them. I had a low-fat strawberry yoghurt for dessert, Julian had a mixed berries one, and I had my two figs for “supper” later on – and they were wonderful! I’m wondering if our backdoor neighbour would notice if we went out at about three or four o’clock in the morning, and sort-of “trained” a few more branches of his fig tree over to our side of the fence… Crikey! I’d even go so far as to pay him for a plate of fresh figs, every day or so… (I suppose I could walk around the block, knock on his door and offer to buy his figs…) Hmm… I had another wrap for lunch again today – pretty much the same as yesterday’s, and just as delicious! And we had an omelet each for dinner tonight – which seems to be becoming our preferred “Sunday Dinner”, and really, Julian does make a damn fine omelet! I make mine completely differently – in fact, I’m not sure if you could even really call it an “omelet”! I read about it once, and tried it, and it does make the thickest and “fluffiest” (sorry Julian! 😉 ) omelet, but it’s messy, and a bit complicated – it involves separating the eggs, and beating the yolks and whites separately. When the whites form soft peaks, you very gently fold it into the beaten yolks, and pour it all into a warmed frying pan with a little melted butter. Shake the frying pan very gently to even out your egg mixture, and gently drop in your chopped up vegetables, ham, whatever… Keep lifting the omelet around the edges, to judge when it looks golden enough, then remove from the heat, and put the whole frying pan under a griller for a few minutes, the egg mixture will puff up, thicken, and “crisp” a bit – this will only take a matter of seconds, so watch it! Remove from the griller before it burns! I suppose it’s a sort-of a cross between an omelet, and a savoury, filled meringue? Anyway, it’s nice in its own way, but really too much trouble to want to cook too often! I had another of those weird Chia Pods for dessert, but alas – there were no more figs tonight! 😦

Weigh-in this morning. Went a little better, after eating more, and not doing my lunchtime treadmilling yesterday – well, I couldn’t really be rude and go off to walk while my favourite youngest daughter and her husband were visiting, could I! Anyway, I went up a measly two points – from 62.0kg to 62.2kg. Big Deal. Oh well, I did have another wrap for lunch today, that might help – but on the other hand, I did get both teadmillings in, so maybe they’ll cancel eachother out, or something. I dunno – we’ll just have to weight and see what the scales have to say about it in the morning, I guess… :/

I’m not too sure what’s happening tomorrow – Josh will be here tomorrow afternoon, I haven’t heard anything more from Clarke yet, so as far as I know, tomorrow morning’s “free” – for me, anyway – and I’m pretty sure that my favourite eldest daughter will be over on Tuesday! I’ll probably work on Arisnoë in the morning – and it’s proving to be a long, slow slog to level 90! It’s not that the quests are hard, or anything – on the contrary, Blizzard have nerfed things so much that even with only a semi-decent weapon, mobs pretty much fall over dead if you merely point said semi-decent weapon in their direction! Oh well, it’ll be worth it in the end, I’m sure! 🙂 Only another eight more levels to go (and I’m more-or-less averaging two levels per day, depending on how long I play for) 🙂 And that’s once again about it from me for tonight – I’m sorry this is late, but we played a bit longer than usual today, and let’s face it – omelets don’t take all that long to cook, so I didn’t really get a chance to start this before dinner. Anyway, do drop in again tomorrow to see if my treadmilling and the lunchtime wrap canceled eachother out, or if I went up a bit more – see how my new Followers are panning out, and what level I’ve been able to get young Arisnoë up to, as well as all the latest news and trivia from this side of the Black Stump! But until then, please do try to bee good, remember that it is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them, and don’t forget to look after yourselves, to always drive carefully, and to keep cool – or warm – depending on your preferences… but above all, don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201602.20

Saturday afternoon – my favourite youngest daughter and her husband have just left – they came over to drop off their set of the Doncaster apartment keys, and stayed to inspect the garden and the veggie beds, Kate found another fig for me, that was generously hanging itself over our side of the fence, asking to be eaten, and Terry helped Julian hang the big gilt mirror over the marble topped dresser in the dining/lounge room. The vegetables are coming on well, except for the sugar-snap peas that we put in – they don’t seem to be doing very much at all – they’re not “dead”, but they’re not really growing, either… we think we might have planted them a bit late… still, as I said, they haven’t died yet, so I suppose that “while there’s life, there’s hope”, and well – maybe they’re just “late starters”! 😉 I played World of Warcraft for most of the morning, and I finally managed to get Arisnoë, my highest ranking Horde Hunter, up to level 82. I think I’ll work on her for a while – I’d like to get her up to level 90, and see if I can get myself a Horde Garrison. I think Julian and I both made a few “mistakes” when we got our Garrisons, and I know that there are a few things that I’d do quite differently in the initial Garrison set-up process. Arisnoë is running around questing in Mount Hyjal at the moment – I’m not quite sure where that stands in the scheme of things, really – I know I did get “a” breadcrumb quest to go and do some questing in an underwater world, but I came to Mount Hyjal instead – Ah! I just found a list! 🙂 It goes: level 80 to 82, Mount Hyjal and Vashj’ir (the Underwater World, which I don’t like because I can never get myself oriented properly in water!) [blah, blah, blah – more levels and zones listed] …level 85 to 90, Pandaria, and level 90 to 100, Draenor, if you’ve bought the upgrade. I’ve bought the upgrade for my primary account, but not for my additional account – yet. I suppose I’m going to have to, eventually, or the characters on that account won’t be able to advance past level 80 – I’m not sure if they’ll even make it to Pandaria, though they should, because I’m pretty sure I bought that expansion for both accounts – and I think I even created a Pandarian Hunter on that account, too! Anyway, we’ll see what happens…

Julian’s always grizzling at me that I never stick with just the one character, and take them all the way through – and I suppose a few of you have wondered the same thing from time to time… well, there are quite a few reasons why I never seem to get a character past about level 20. The main one, of course, is that I’m afraid that I won’t be able to do it. Death is such a fleeting thing in these sorts of games, so it can’t be the fear of my pretty young thing dying an early and gruesome death – it’s more the – I suppose fear – of ridicule, and the humiliation of not being able to do the quests that everyone else seems to sail through so effortlessly. Back in the “early days” of playing WoW, when Julian and I would team up with various friends and acquaintances to run a dungeon or an instance, it always seemed to be me who was talked down to, or berated, for not doing the amount of dps (“damage per second”) that they expected me to be doing. For starters, I have a different style of playing, and also my reflexes aren’t as good as those of an eighteen year old. If pressed too hard, I tend to suffer from “fluster-lock” – I get flustered, and get frozen in a state of  “dither”, my mind darting around like minnows, when a shark enters their pond, saying “quick! quick! what’ll I do! shoot? fire an explosive trap, or a freeze trap? Oh… I’m dead… :/ ” In a way, it’s a lot like my fear of spiders! Intellectually, I do know that 99 and ¾% of the spiders here in Australia won’t hurt me – sure, there are some that will, however most of the ones that you find sitting on the ceiling in your bedroom, won’t. But I’m terrified of them anyway! I think there’s also an aspect of “but I don’t know what to do!” in my reluctance to take characters past a certain point – but I’ve taken at least four or five characters (in about ten years!) up as far as the level cap went when I was playing them – like Arisnoë – the last time I played her I took her up to level 80, which was as far as you could go back then, and I only got assistance from Julian in the few quests that specified needing a group of three or more – so I know that I can do it, if I put my mind to it. So I’ll keep working with Arisnoë, this time because I want to see a Horde Garrison! 😉

Food stuffz: well, last night we had pan-fried chicken, green beans, half a tomato each, and mashed potatoes (with butter! I watched Julian putting in at least two teaspoonfuls – and it was delicious! 😛 ) We had the last of the extremely nice Coles Brand low-calorie “Rice Pudding” for dessert – and once again, against all my scruples – I had to acknowledge how absolutely yummy it was, and I made a mental note to ask Julian to get some more of it, please! Then I ate one of my figs. Well, I’d thought it was a “white” fig, with the very pale, almost creamy flesh inside it – but it wasn’t! Although the outside skin was green, inside it was one of those deliciously “jammy”, deep red, succulent… words fail me! It was just the best fig I’ve eaten in years! Not under-ripe, and all hard and green and tasteless, not over-ripe and squishy – it was just right! I’m really looking forward to eating the two remaining figs tonight – I’ll have to eat them both, because the left-over one from yesterday will be past its prime by tomorrow, and Kate accidentally dropped the one she picked for me today, so it’s a bit bruised, the skin has split a little, and all the juices are leaking out. And well, I mean, I can’t waste it, can I?! 😉 Today for lunch I had a wrap, with the basil-pesto hummus, sandwich ham, red capsicum “batons”, and chunks of Halloumi cheese – it was quite delectable! 🙂 and tonight we’re having frenched lamb cutlets, probably with chips, beans, and the usual half a tomato, and I’ll have both figs for dessert… I didn’t do my second treadmilling today, and I’m not sorry! If we had the wherewithal, I’d be having a medium-sized bowl of pasta for dinner tonight, but we don’t have any sauce – and losing too much weight or not, I’m afraid that plain old “pasta al burro” (pasta with butter and cheese) is totally out of the question!

Weigh-in this morning. Was almost as bad as it was yesterday! Despite the BLT and the New York Cheesecake, despite the mashed potatoes (with butter!) and the”Rice Pudding”, I only went up two points! I went from 61.8kg to 62.0kg – the same as I was the day before yesterday – and which, in my opinion, is too low! Once again Kate told me to “eat more!”, and I said that I was, but that it wasn’t working – so she told me to have two chocolates tonight! We have a box of those little Lindt chocolate balls, all wrapped up with different coloured paper  – we daringly allow ourselves one chocolate each per night (which is really all that I want, anyway!) but Kate now thinks I need two! hmm… I suppose I could force myself to eat a second one, if I really had to… 😉 We’ll see what the scales have to say tomorrow morning. If my weight hasn’t gone up enough, I might have to brave that second chocolate after all, and just be brave about it! 😉

Tomorrow is Sunday, and Julian and I will be rampaging through Draenor – hopefully we won’t die too many times – but if we do, well, the most painful thing about dying in a game like WoW is the amount of gold that has to be extracted from your hip pocket, to pay for the healing and the armor repairs! 🙂 But it should be a good day – we both have a few Garrison quests, as well as a few “normal” type quests – and hopefully I won’t get another Garrison quest that’s as totally incomprehensible to me as the one I had last week, so much so that I had to get Julian to come and help me with it, because I had no idea at all about what I had to do! Anyway, that’s about it from me again for tonight – do call in again tomorrow night though, to see how we went in Draenor, and if we died or not, and to find out if my sneaky strategy of eating more and exercising less is bringing my weight back to what I call an “acceptable” level! So until tomorrow night, please bee good, don’t forget – chance is the first step you take, luck is what comes afterward… and remember to drive carefully, to keep cool – or warm – depending on the weather, and to look after yourselves – but above all, please remember to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂