Tag Archives: random thoughts

Power, energy, and other random thoughts…

14 Jul 16
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It’s been over a week since I last posted. Between my major projects (Foggy Frog book and AAEE 2016 Conference) and the weather here it’s been difficult to find time to write here.

Yesterday, just as I was about to write my post, the power went out at home. It was out most the day so instead of working (everything I’ve got to do at the moment is online) I spent the day reading Harry Potter and playing with the cats.

It was interesting working out the best ways to stay warm when the heater didn’t have it’s fan (it was warm right in front of it but the heat didn’t get very far) and I didn’t have electricity to make the gas hot water work for a bath or the kettle work for tea.

In the end, I used the stove (gas and I could light it with a match) to boil water for tea and just sat as close as I could to the fire most the day with the cats for company.

Anyway, on to what I was planning to talk about yesterday…

Testosterone – an Update

It’s been over 3 months since I started on Testosterone treatment for pain and energy management.

Using the syringe to measure and apply the cream to my skin

Using the syringe to measure and apply the cream to my skin

The first few months I didn’t really notice much difference. There was a good reason for that though as, although we started at the usual dose for women and doubled it at the end of each month, I didn’t seem to be absorbing much of it. The free levels in my blood only went up by 0.3 over the first two months from 0.4 to 0.7 (normal range for women is 1.5 to 8 – I don’t remember what the measurement units are sorry)!

Rubbing the cream in to make sure as much as possible gets absorbed

Rubbing the cream in to make sure as much as possible gets absorbed

However, once we doubled the dose again, for a total of 1 mL daily, my free testosterone levels in my blood have finally reached low-mid normal range (around 2). I’m beginning to notice some changes in my base levels of pain and a decrease in the number and intensity of the crashes I have. Nothing really worth claiming as a significant improvement yet, but even the change in crash frequency has allowed me to get a lot more done recently.

Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang Book Launch

We’ve set a date for the official book launch! There will be a live event on Saturday 24 September 2016 at Burnside Library, followed by a series of online events during Invisible Illness Awareness Week (September 26 – October 2 2016). Register for the live event here and stay tuned for more details of the online events.

Please note this event is now in the past


Taking Stock and Share Your World Week 26

30 Jun 16

We’re halfway through the year, so I thought I’d do another Taking Stock as well as answering the Share Your World questions. In fact, given that the 4th question in Share Your World is a ‘Currently List’, they fit together well.

Taking Stock – June 2016

The concept is really simple, a snapshot of where you are, who you are spending time with, how you are feeling and much more. To create it just add a sentence or two next to each category below…

You can check out my March Taking Stock here.

Making : The print-ready files for the Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang picture book. We’re finally close to publishing and launching the book!
Cooking : Sourdough bread. I’m baking regularly, at least once a week.
Drinking : Water.
Reading: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (illustrated edition).

Set up for reading by the fire, with a nice cup of tea and Pepper (cat) for company.

Set up for reading by the fire, with a nice cup of tea and Pepper (cat) for company.

Wanting: A pain-free day… not something I can see happening soon, but I’d love one!
Looking: At different book covers to finalise the Foggy Frog cover design.
Playing: Board and card games with E.
Deciding: What my plans are for the next financial year (today is the last day of the financial year here in Australia).
Wishing: I had a clearer head so I could focus better.
Enjoying: The nice weather today (Tuesday – I wrote this post early this week). The sun’s out and it’s not too cold.
Waiting: For the results of the Foggy Frog cover design. Kickstarter backers have the chance to vote on 3 different options. Taking their comments into consideration I’ll be creating the final cover.
Liking: Freshly squeezed orange juice and freshly baked bread.2016-06-13 10.55.50
Wondering: When I should officially launch the book.
Loving: Spending time with family and friends.
Pondering: What to do for dinner tonight.
Considering: Whether to make myself a cup of tea.
Buying: ISBN’s for the Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang picture book.
Watching: Some new (to me) UK show on ABC iView, Breathless. It’s not really my sort of show so far, but I’m giving it at least this episode before I decide.
 E has time to play another game with me this weekend.
Marvelling: At how fast my friend’s children are growing up.
Cringing: At having to repeatedly read the same line before I actually make sense of what I’m reading.
Needing: A nap. I’m reaching my limits for today.
Questioning: Who to actually vote for in the elections. I’m not really impressed with any of the politicians.
Smelling: Lollies. I needed some sugar to keep going today.
Wearing: Trackies and a long sleeved top.
Following: What’s going on in the election campaign.
Noticing: The cats curled up in front of the fire.
Knowing: My friend Jan will be coming to visit soon. 🙂
Thinking: About what to make for dinner tonight.
Admiring: the sun shining off the plants in the front garden.
Sorting: My sewing/spare room. It’s a bit of a mess again so I need to rearrange and clear again!
Getting: more and more excited about the progress with the Foggy Frog book (you’re probably seeing a theme here).
Bookmarking: The Facebook Page I’ve set up for the Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang picture book.
Coveting: Some sort of baking mat so that I can avoid using so much alfoil when we’re cooking.
Disliking: How my joints ache in this cold weather.
Opening: The mail from yesterday.
Giggling: At some of the silly promotional brochures being sent out by the political parties.
Feeling: Flustered and achey.
Snacking: Nuts and dried fruit.
Helping: Plan the AAEE 2016 Biennial Conference.
Hearing: The postie going by.

Share Your World – Week 26

What’s your most memorable (good or bad) airplane flight?

I haven’t had many flights and none have been that memorable. If I had to choose one it’s a toss up between my first ever flight, a trip to the Gold Coast for a St John Cadets National First Aid Competition when I was about 15, and my first overseas trip, New Zealand, with E about 10 years ago.

How many bones, if any, have you broken?

None as an adult, as a child I broke my elbow.

If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be? (guest can be dead, alive, famous or someone you just know)

My show would align with my blog and business, focusing on living a simple, sustainable and meaningful life with or without a chronic illness. I’d probably choose the following to be my first three guests:

  1. David Attenborough. I’ve always looked up to him and what he has been able to achieve in his life.
  2.  Jennifer Brea. She’s been able to do so much even though she lives with severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
  3. My mum. She’s always had a good perspective on life.

Make a Currently List: What are you reading, watching, listening to, eating, needing, wanting, and missing right now?

See above

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I’m grateful for acupuncture which takes away most of my pain (for a little while at least).

In the next week, I’m looking forward to just seeing what happens. I don’t have many set plans yet for the week!

Share Your World Week 25

23 Jun 16
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Winter is definitely here in Adelaide now and I’ve been trying to stay warm inside by the fire the last few days. It’s been nice to spend time snuggled with the cats in front of the fire. Here’s this weeks, Share Your World post.

Share Your World – Week 25

How many languages do you you speak?

Only English really. I can count to ten in Japanese and Italian (the 2 languages we did at school) and I know a few other words but I don’t speak any other languages proficiently.

What are some words that just make you smile?

Kitty, baby, happiness, yummy…

If you were the original architect of one existing building, which building would you select?

I’d probably go with an eco-house… maybe even a hobbit-hole style house. I love watching grand designs and seeing all the different ideas but I don’t think I could choose just one.

Would you rather have telepathy or telekinesis?  (Telepathy is the communication using your brain waves, telekinesis is channeling the energy onto physical objects to cause substantial, observable physical changes.)

Telepathy… E is always joking that I can read his mind so he doesn’t need to tell me things, it would be great to actually be able to 🙂 Also, when he leaves the shopping list at home, I could just send it to him easily.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

In the last week I’m grateful for E’s help in finally getting the cover designs ready to be voted on. This brings us so much closer to having the book finished and available.

I’m looking forward to seeing our friends this weekend and acupuncture on Tuesday (my pain levels have been really high the last week or so)!

Share Your World Week 24

16 Jun 16
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Another week has gone by and we’re back for another round of Share You World.  I’ll apologise up front if my answers don’t make any sense but I’m writing this after a busy morning out and I feel like there’s a giant cloud around my head at the moment. Anyway, here we go…

Share Your World – Week 24

What is the most fun thing you did in school?

I really enjoyed participating in the school musicals and the inter-school Choir events throughout school.

What is your favorite type of dog?  (can be anything from a specific breed, a stuffed animal or character in a movie)

Another difficult one for me as I don’t necessarily have a favourite type of dog but I do really want a beagle so I guess that will be my choice today. 🙂

You are invited to a party that will be attended by many fascinating people you never met.  Would you attend this party if you were to go by yourself?

It would depend on the situation. If there was a reason for meeting the fascinating people (they’re relevant to my field of work or to something I’m interested in) then yes I’d go. If not, I’d probably not go as I like to conserve my energy for things that are important to me (like spending time with my family and friends) or that fit in well with my values.

Complete this sentence:  Never In My Life Have I…. jumped out of a plane… I almost did once when E and I were on holidays in New Zealand many years ago but (luckily, I think… I was very very nervous about it) the weather closed in and they had to cancel the jump.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I’m grateful for finally making it to one of the in-person catch ups of the local ME/CFS/Fibromyalgia support group I’m part of on Facebook.

This week I’m looking forward to taking some time to step back and reflect on the last year and begin planning what I’d like to do in the next financial year.

Share Your World Week 23

09 Jun 16

I’m finally starting to feel better so I’ll probably be back to two posts a week next week once I’ve caught up with everything else that has been on hold since I’ve been sick. For now, here’s my “Share Your World” again. 🙂

Share Your World – Week 23

What was one of your first moneymaking jobs (other than babysitting or newspaper delivery)?

My first job was in a children’s birthday party cafe. I guess the role would be classified as a waitress, I was responsible for serving and cleaning up after the parties. I’ve also been a checkout chick, shoes sales person, admin assistant, and seed/algae counter before getting my first ‘real’ job out of uni.

What is your favorite month of the year?

I don’t really have a favourite month, but I guess if I had to choose it would be May/June because that’s when E and I have our birthdays so we see a lot of our family and friends.

What three things in nature do you find most beautiful?

The changing colours of the seasons, an isolated spot in the bush and watching the waves crash on the beach.

List at least five of your favorite spices? (excluding salt and pepper)

  1. Cumin
  2. Cinnamon
  3. Cajun mix
  4. Vanilla
  5. Paprika
  6. Cayenne Pepper
  7. Ginger

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I’m grateful for time spent with family and loving messages from friends for my birthday on Monday, for the books I received as gifts and for the thermals E’s mum got me (winter has definitely arrived here).

My birthday books

My birthday books

I’m looking forward to running a workshop on Friday with a group of Year 6/7 students from a local school to help them develop a revegetation plan for a project they want to do on the local creek.

Share Your World Week 22

02 Jun 16
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I’m still recovering from my cold. The cold symptoms have all but gone away (just a cough left) but I now need to rebuild my energy levels before I’m capable of doing much else so once again only one short post this week focusing on Share Your World.

Because of Memorial Day in America, Cee has focused on holiday related questions for the Share Your World challenge this week.

Share Your World – Week 22

  1. Every country in the world has lost men and women in some kind of Armed Forces.  When does your country celebrate or morn their deaths? (Optional)In Australia, we remember our fallen on Anzac Day which occurs on the 25th of April each year.
  2. What is your favorite holiday or holidays?

    I’ve always enjoyed the holidays that bring our family together. That generally means Christmas and Easter. Around Easter we usually celebrate Passover as well (although we haven’t the last few years).
  3. How do you celebrate that holiday?We celebrate these holidays with family gatherings. Because of the way our family is structured we tend to have at least 3 celebrations for each holiday; one with E’s family, one with my dad, and one with my mum and the extended family on her side.

This week, Cee didn’t ask what we’ve been grateful for and what we’re looking forward to but I still want to let you know.

I’m grateful for my improving health. Last week I literally did nothing all week, this week I’ve been able to do a small amount of work. I’m looking forward to my birthday on Monday and spending time with family and friends to celebrate.

Share Your World Week 21

26 May 16
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Only the one post this week (Share Your World) as I’ve been unwell all week. Catching a cold on top of chronic illness makes everything so much more difficult and today is the first day I’ve felt well enough to do much at all.

Yesterday there were protests around the world to raise awareness of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and the need for more research funding. I wasn’t able to go to a protest (nearest one was interstate) so I posted links to my social media accounts to promote it.

The millions missing campaign used empty shoes to represent how many of us are missing from every day activities.

Share Your World – Week 21

What is your favorite go to beverage?  Water, coffee, tea, coke, soda (non-alcoholic)

Water is my normal go to beverage. Occasionally I have bubbly water from the soda stream or a tea, but most times I just have water straight from the puratap.

Can you change a car tire?

To be honest, I don’t know. I’ve never been in a situation where I’d need to and I’ve never tried. I know the theory of how to do it though.

Are you a listener or talker?

E would say I talk a lot, but usually only with him. In general, I’m a listener.

Would you rather have no internet or no cell phone?

No cell phone. I could live without my phone as I’m home most the time so I can use the home phone but the internet is a large part of how I connect with the outside world.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I’m grateful for being well enough to go along to the rogaine with E on the weekend. I’m also glad E liked his birthday present (even if he guessed what it was the day before his birthday)!

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In this next week I’m looking forward to feeling better! I feel a little better today and I hope that continues as the week progresses.

Share Your World Week 20

19 May 16
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Another week over already! This week was busy so my posts are closer together. Yesterday I shared my week with you, today it’s time to Share Your World..

Share Your World – Week 20

When do you feel most connected with others?

I feel most connected with others when I’m able to talk meaningfully with them about anything or when I’m able to share experiences with them. For example, chatting with my friends about topics that are important to both of us, chatting online (comments here and on Facebook) with others about life with chronic illness, and going away with E to ‘get back to nature’ and relax together.

What daily habit would you like to introduce to your life?

I’d like to get back to daily meditation and daily exercise but for now I’m just focused on adding more gratitude and general mindfulness to my day.

What one mini-little-adventure would you like to have in the coming week?

In the coming week I would like to surprise E for his birthday.

List at least of things or events that changed your Life: It could be as simple as a book or meeting a certain person?

  1. Meeting E in 2003 and marrying him in 2011!
  2. Getting ill in 2013.
  3. Participating in a 6 month Green Corp project and volunteering with Conservation Volunteers Australia, giving me hands on experience with conservation and land management and energy auditing.
  4. Starting this blog
  5. Raising the money to publish the Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang Picture Book.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

In the last week I’m grateful for time spent with family.

This week I’m looking forward to celebrating E’s birthday with him.

Share Your World Week 19

12 May 16
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It’s that time of the week again – Share Your World!

Share Your World – Week 19

  1. You win a pet monkey but this isn’t just any old monkey. It can do one trick for you whenever you want from getting a pop out of the fridge to washing your hair. What would be the trick? Keep the house clean! Mainly tasks like dusting that I don’t have the energy to do myself. But I wouldn’t want to take advantage of the monkey so it would have lots of free time as well.
  2. What caring thing are you going to do for yourself today? Bake fresh bread and refill my scripts. I love the fact I’ve been able to add some gluten back into my diet but I don’t want all the additives in store bought breads so weekly homemade sourdough is the way to go. I need to refill my scripts as I’m low on several of my supplements and medications, these are what help keep my pain levels at a manageable level so definitely a must do!
  3. What color do you feel most comfortable wearing?
    Blues, greens and pinks at the moment, but really I just like colour!
  4. Complete this sentence:  When I travel I love to….
    Connect with Nature! As you can probably tell from my last post and the photos I shared, whenever I can I aim to get out and be in the natural environment where ever I am.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

In the last week, E and I got away for the weekend and had a wonderful meal out with my sister who’s over from Hong Kong.

This week I’m looking forward to spending more time with my sister. 🙂

What are you looking forward to this week?

Share Your World Week 18

05 May 16
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Because we’re going away for the weekend (we’ll have left by the time you’re reading this) I’m keeping this post short and snappy today… Let’s Share Your World

Share Your World – Week 18

Who was your best friend in elementary school?

We don’t have ‘elementary’ school here in Australia, but I believe it’s the same as Primary school here. I moved school a lot, which meant having to make new friends, so I can’t identify one best friend. There are a few I remember from each school though, and I’m still in touch with one so I guess I’d say she was my best friend. Her name was Anna and I met her in year 6. We’ve been friends since then. We both went to the same high school as well. We lost track of each other after school, but I now see her occasionally as she works near me.

What things could people do for you on a really bad day that would really help you?

Make dinner and keep me company on the couch, that’s the best things I can think of. Having someone acknowledge how I’m feeling and doing small things like this that make my life easier for the day.

If you could make a 15 second speech to the entire world, what would you say?

Live Sustainably, live by your values.

Would you rather be an amazing dancer or an amazing singer?


Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

In the last week I’m grateful for secondhand items from friends and that I’m able to work enough to actually have some income coming in.

In the next week I’m looking forward to my time away with Erik.

Speak to you all when we get back!