Friday, November 30, 2012

No Smokes, no jokes!

It's been almost two weeks, I haven't had a smoke in twelve days! I'm giving myself a reward too, I deserve it. I am so glad I bit the bullet and went with giving up when I did. I'm glad I swooped in the opportunity now, and not waited. The right time may have not come again for a while, making it harder to give up, the will may have passed me by.

It's given me a huge confidence boost, knowing I am succeeding(so far) with this. The comments I have had from people have been encouraging and supportive.

I was also surprised at the people that had no idea I was a smoker. Congratulating me and admitting they didn't even know, I must have been that good at hiding it, I was sure they'd smelled it on me before. When visitors came, ones that I didn't know well, I didn't go out and have a smoke. I was respectful, I listened to the conversation, and resisted. As soon as they left I was out lunging down a fag.

I never smoked at work, but when I got home I made up for it, it was like a game of catch up. My boss didn't even know for the first few years. I have heard smokers say the same thing, if they didn't or couldn't smoke at work, they would have lots when they got home, to make up for it, to get the nicotine in their system, like the days quota. 

I have rewarded myself this week. I've bought Rohan Andersons cook book. Some of you may have come across Rohans blog, some of you may have not. Rohan lives in an old school house in Ballarat, Victoria. His blog, Whole Larder Love, documents his garden obsession and hunting prowess, whether it be fishing or shooting, and the simple food that comes from his love of self sufficiency. This is his new cook book, I have been wanting to flick my fingers through it since it was released a few months ago. Rohan is also a fantastic photographer, I am looking forward to marvelling (and drooling) at amazing pictures of food! I can say, I can totally afford to buy it this week, because I am not a dag, only dags need fags!

image source: Whole Larder Love

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Footprints in the sand

I love this poem, I have a copy on my fridge. I am not overly religious, although I was bought up and baptised catholic and all of my schooling was at catholic schools. I absolutely adored the nuns of St Joseph when I was a kid. They taught me so much about being a compassionate and tolerant person. I have my faith, but am over going to church and all that other stuff. I do appreciate my churchy upbringing in that I learned that God is there to turn to when things get rough, someone to listen when I need to talk. Someone to carry me through the hard times.

I found this song while googling Footprints in the sand. The images are confronting, heart breaking, it reminds me just how small my problems are.

It puts the craziness that goes on for Christmas, in perspective. There are so many people in need, so many innocent children suffering. I am overwhelmed.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Grilled polenta

   3 cups water
     1 1/2 tsp salt
     1 1/2 cups polenta
     1 tsp thyme
     a grind of black pepper
     1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
     2 Tbs olive oil
     1 clove garlic, crushed

   In a saucepan heat the water and salt over medium-high heat.  Bring to a simmer, but don't let it boil.
   Slowly whisk the polenta into the simmering water. Whisk constantly until it begins to thicken, 2 or 3 minutes. Add the thyme, cheese, garlic and olive oil.   
    Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring regularly, for a few minutes until it is very thick
   Fill a loaf tin lined with cling wrap with the polenta. Smooth the polenta out evenly.
Cover and leave for the day or overnight.
(I leave an excess of cling wrap and use this to wrap over and cover)
        Remove from the refrigerator and flip over onto a cutting board. 
   Slice the polenta about 1/2" thick.

Brush the polenta slices with olive oil and fry in a pan or put under a grill for 4-5 minutes each side.

I had mine with some tuscan meatballs, but would be nice just with some salad. I haven't had grilled polenta for a long time, I used to make it quite a bit and was only reminded on the weekend watching Jamie Olivers  15 minutes meals on the telly. He served it with a tomato based sauce, mushrooms and chicken. Some wilted spinach and roasted cherry tomatoes would go down a treat too, topped with some fancy arsed cheese and maybe some black olives. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I'm a smoker who doesn't smoke right now....

Day 1

It's a very difficult thing to admit to people. I'm pretty good at hiding it, I fool myself because the smell would give it away. I'm used to the smell, I live with it, I don't notice it, I forget it. But the people around me notice it, they smell it on my clothes, on my breath. I'm sure.

The last time I tried to give up was seventeen years ago. I succeeded....for seven years. I have been a willing smoker for the last ten years. Not something I am proud of. Not something I have shouted from the rooftops. I'm ready. I am in the right mindset, kind of. I've had tears, blubbering from the withdrawal. I laughed at myself for it, knowing full well why I felt down and why I was carrying on like a big baby. It's only day I write this I have survived 32 hours without a fag. I have a long friggin way to go.

I need to do this, for me, for my kids, for our bank account, for my life.
Day 2
I've been getting out of the house and doing more walking

Day 3

So far so good. I have drinking a lot of coffee. I have realised the most stressful part of my day is from five o'clock onwards. The tea time rush, the kids turn to shit at this time of day. Summer doesn't want to go to sleep tonight, it's almost 11 and she is still awake. After two hours of trying to get her to sleep she is sitting on the bean bag watching the Wiggles. I had a cry because I haven't had a break from the kids all day and this is meant to be my time. 

I was tempted to buy a bottle of wine earlier this week as my wind down at the end of the day. I was wary though, and haven't done it, I don't want to replace one demon for another. The reason I started smoking cigarettes ten years ago, was to replace smoking pot. I don't want to make another mistake. I do realise here I am delving into too much information about myself all at once, I may be judged, but I'm painting the whole picture. 

81 hrs = no fags. I feel good physically, breathing easier, I notice it at night time especially. My skin looks better. Mentally, it's taking a toll, I expected that. I'm rewarding myself big time at the end of the week!! I'm tossing up between Whole Larder Loves cook book or a new dress. Lord knows I've saved the money already for the cook book!

Day 4

103 hours. Fag free. I am feeling so positive right now. I walked out of the supermarket today, there were people smoking outside and the smoke smell wasn't nice, I didn't expect that I would find it so revolting so soon. I had fears of smelling it and how I would react, would it make me want one? It didn't. It surprised me. A lady standing under the veranda of the nearby op shop was lighting up. I said to myself, that's not me.  Funnily enough the lady I usually see standing there, who works in the shop, maybe 60 odd years old wasn't. I used to think if she's that old and still smoking then I will be alright. I am such a fool, the mind has so much power, but so does the little stupid voice inside my head that says ridiculous things like that.

I did a calculator estimate thingy yesterday. It says I will save $3500 dollars a year and most importantly I will add 9 years to my life. 9 years!!!! It was like a stab in the heart seeing that figure. Imagine losing nine years with my beautiful kids, denying them of nine years with a Mum.

I am so in the zone right now, I am a smoker, I will always be one, but I don't smoke right now.

I am aware, it is only day four. I'm not sure if any, what day the hill gets steeper, this battle may get worse. A science teacher I once had said of writing essays, that you don't write 'I think.....'. If you write this, then you really don't know, and it is not convincing at all.  I KNOW I can do this. I KNOW I will be alright.

Sunday afternoon will be my first goal, one week without a fag. I intend to reward myself. I KNOW I will get there. Stay tuned.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mt Gambier Christmas Pageant

The Marion City Band playing Funky Town. Was awesome, reminded
me of my tragic Pseudo Echo days

This was a shot of the cheer squad, photo bombed by lego man!

The popes christmas message?!

Izzys favourite

Cheap at twice the price!

Thomas the tank wannabe

Jivers. I don't know how they jive on a moving truck without ending up on the road!!
6 thirty oclock rock?

Party Time...Excellent!

Izzy with big brother Jake. Love this dude.

The fat man cometh.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pierre de Ronsard - Open Slather

This is the most Romantic looking rose I have ever seen.
It is breathtakingly beautiful. I am beside myself with awe
every year when it bursts
 into bloom.

Pierre de Ronsard (1524 – 1585) was a french poet in the court of Mary Queen of Scots. Here are two of his poems.


I send you here a wreath of blossoms blown,
And woven flowers at sunset gathered,
Another dawn had seen them ruined, and shed
Loose leaves upon the grass at random strown.
By this, their sure example, be it known,
That all your beauties, now in perfect flower,
Shall fade as these, and wither in an hour,
Flowerlike, and brief of days, as the flower sown.

Ah, time is flying, lady - time is flying;
Nay, ’tis not time that flies but we that go,
Who in short space shall be in churchyard lying,
And of our loving parley none shall know,
Nor any man consider what we were;
Be therefore kind, my love, whiles thou art fair. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Apricot and almond biscuits

150g butter, chopped
½ cup sugar
1 cup rolled oats
3/4cup self-raising flour
150g dried apricots, chopped
2 Tblsp flaked almonds
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Put butter and sugar in a saucepan on medium heat. Stir to melt butter and dissolve sugar.
When butter has melted and sugar dissolved, take off the heat. Put remaining ingredients in a bowl, pour the melted butter mix over and stir to combine.
 Place a heaped teaspoon of the biscuit mixture onto the tray about 2 cm apart.
Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.


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