July 31, 2009

Signs and portents

It's hard to believe tomorrow is August 1st but it appears to be true...and that means we're two thirds through Winter and Spring is headed our way.

I have evidence, even.

What I'm going to do on my vacation

Almost five weeks of glorious no day job time stretch before me. Much as I'd love to read and nap for five weeks, there's actually some stuff that needs to be done. So herewith, Mel's to-do's for holiday time (napping, reading, movies and the odd margarita are a given).

1. Get the exercise routine going again.
2. Figure out this darn stuck point in my book and get to half way.
3. Some de-cluttering/early spring cleaning.
4. RWAus conference in lovely warm Queensland
5. Start the cardigan I bought wool for or else I won't get to wear it until next year.

Let's see how all that goes!

July 23, 2009

July 18, 2009

The unbearable cuteness of alpacas

I've been up in Bendigo for two days at the Wool and Sheep show to hang out with my sil and inevitably buy yarn (but will save the yarn talk for the craft blog).

I haven't been to Bendigo in I do not know how long and it is a very pretty place (though OMG cold at this time of year.) Also, Bendigo...if the Wool and Sheep Show is one of your city's yearly big touristy events (and it is)...it wouldn't kill ya to put up some signage directing people to your showgrounds. Just saying. Seriously. I grew up in the country and I have never been to a country town before that was not signed up about a big event/festival/show happening in town. And if the dinky little towns can do it, so can you.

Anyhoo, once I got to the show all was good. I watched the sheepdogs being intent in the way that only a working dog can be and fondled yarn and ate country show food and had a generally fun time. There may have been a little admiring of country boys. My friends and I used to say that we moved to the city to avoid country boys but maybe you can't take the country entirely out of the girl (or maybe I've just watched too much McLeod's Daughters) because nice moleskines, nice RM's and a nice shirt is a look that Aussie boys just do well : )

(Okay, so that's not exactly the cleaned up version but really are you going to argue?)

But the highlight (well, apart from said hanging out with the sil) was the alpacas. I've seen alpacas before, but something about seeing them enmasse by the tentful was just too cute. If I ever go crazy and buy a farm, I'm having alpacas. I mean, look.

Cute. And now cuter.

And cute eyelashes.

And cute colors.

For strange mutant camel/ewok/goat creatures they sure are appealing. Plus they smell better than sheep and seem to be a leeeeetle more intelligent (not that it's hard to be more intelligent than a sheep. I've herded sheep. I know). And they make a nicer noise. Hmmm, I wonder if an alpaca can live in a backyard and eat my grass?

In closing, here is my favourite alpaca photo. In fact, it might be one of my all time favourite photos I've taken. Something about it just makes me smile. Rasta alpaca attitude (er, technically I think this is a Suri). I love Highland cows too, so the longhaired alpacas are just even more full of win. (Yes, I'll shut up about alpacas now).

July 15, 2009

Over here

I'm blogging today (the 15th for my US buds) at Nobody Writes It Better.

Come visit me!

July 14, 2009

Somewhat late

My four day weekend zoomed by. Here are the highlights.

Torchwood, Children of Earth. Loved it but RTD you are a mean, mean man. Please let there be a S4, just so I can see how you get out of the mess you left 'em in. But very good if somewhat disturbing stuff.

To see said Torchwood marathon, I went to visit Keri up in the country. As I didn't have my iPhone, I figured I'd be good and print out the directions from google maps (I've been there before but couldn't remember the turn-off). And can I just say Google Maps, you are a big fat liar liar pants on fire lying mclying thing. The street you said to turn-off in to get to Keri's street DOES NOT EXIST!!!

You made up a whole street. And given I did not have my own phone and therefore no nubmers and Keri's town is off the street directory maps, things could've gotten ugly. Luckily Keri's town has an info map with the streets laid out. The CORRECT streets (see how that works, Google?). Though there are two streets with the same name, which is somewhat confusing. At least I got there and only missed five minutes or so of ep one. I think Keri was about to send out a search party as the weather was awful.

Apart from travelling adventures, I finished a sewing project, wrote some, outlined (ugh) some and did nothing else of interest. This weekend I'm off to a wool and sheep show (with bonus alpacas...I intend to pat an alpaca if possible)...now that my iPhone has been restored to me, I'm hopeful of getting there without relying google maps. Though there could be a flaw in that plan seeing as my iPhone uses google maps. hmmm, perhaps i need a vicroads directory.

July 13, 2009

Green (or possibly yellow) power

I tried this today and was very surprised by just how well it works! So I'm sharing.

To clean a microwave

Put juice of one lemon and 1/2 cup water in microwave proof bowl, uncovered. Heat on high for 3 mins then let stand for five minutes.

Then just wipe down with hot damp cloth.

I had to rub a little bit with the cloth and rinse it out a few times but my microwave definitely needed a good clean and this got 95% of the gunk off with no evil chemicals! Apparently the acid from the lemons loosens the gunk/grease. Worked as well as any of the chemical cleaners I've tried for the same purpose.

July 10, 2009

A good day

Fridays are always good. No day job. Freedom to potter around. Today I pottered with the knitting and the sewing and a bit of TV in between eking out seven very slow pages on two different wips.

But they got done so that's a good thing. But tomorrow I'm going to have to sit down and do some braindumping and outlining because both of these books are being contrary and not exactly revealing of where they want to go. I'm not exactly a plotter so it could be interesting.

In other news, the day job craziness has eased off a bit, we're over the hump of the first part of the big old project that's been kicking my butt for the last six months and the second part is not as insanity inducing hopefully. Plus I've only got three weeks before a month and a bit off. Woot!

July 04, 2009

Resolving 2.0

In the spirit of the new financial year, I figured I should do a mid-year check to where I was at.

These were my goals in January.

1. Write at least two books and enjoy the process. Hmmm, I've written a quarter of two books. Much typing in the next six months to achieve this but it's still do-able.
2. Lose 15kg. Was doing okay with this until about April when project craziness hit. Let's revise this down to 5-10 in the next six months.
3. To assist with 2, make sure the exercise routine stays a routine rather than a sporadic mess. Actually, one of the girls at work talks about an exercise ritual. I like that. Ritual seems more fun and inviting than 'routine'. Rituals are nurturing rather than an imposition. So keep shaping and sticking to my exercise rituals. Like I said, off the exercise wagon except for my Nia classes and they're not frequent enough. So the goal is back on the wagon.
4. Remember my recipe for happy Mels. Actually I've done okay on this. Have been doing the other things I like to do but I guess just need to pull it all back into balance again.
5. Stay off the caffeine as much as possible (which isn't always but at least I haven't had a diet coke since early this year...and man, I miss it still). Currently on the caffeine but goal over the next week is to wean myself off again. Or at least switch to one or two cups of tea rather than coke.
6. Remember when I fall off the wagon with any of the above that I can just get up and get back on. Okay, I'm remembering.
5. Have fun! Hmmm. There has been some stressy stuff in the last six months. But still, many giggles have occurred.

You can't really set a goal of selling a book as publication is largely out of your control after you do all the write a good book/find an agent/submit stuff/keep writing bit but let's call it my big dream for 2009. Sell a book. Or six. : ) No change to this. But the universe is working on it (along with my lovely agent).