Author Archives: Helen

Tonsillitis

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I started to get a sore throat last Friday night, and thinking it was just a cold decided to ignore it for the next 6 days. Which turned out to be a really bad idea, because it wasn’t a cold it was tonsillitis. Two penicillin injections in my butt, a bunch of tablets and three days spent on the couch and I am starting to feel a bit better, with the odd moment of feeling like I am about to cough up a lung.

The most frustrating thing is the not getting anything done. Last Tuesday was a public holiday, and I was too tired from “the cold” to do anything and tomorrow is another one, and I am pretty much still benched. Being sick is a complete waste of the best run of public holidays we have this year. Not to mention that, except for visits to the Doctor, by tomorrow I’ll have been stuck in the house, doing nothing, for 5 days straight. Cabin fever is starting to set in. Yesterday I found myself watching a show about people who repossess cars. Today I am trying to make myself do something. At least for a little while.

I’ve had this quilt on the go for a while, and for some reason I’m not enjoying it. Maybe because it requires more precision than I usually enjoy. Too many biased edges and it seems the bigger the blocks get, the harder it is to measure them accurately. Two rulers don’t really cut it. But it would be nice if over the next two days I could get the last round of borders on it and the top finished.

purple quilt

 

 

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Being a grown up

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The last few weeks have been almost consumed with the business of being a grown up. Most of that has been due to my deciding that my bank probably wasn’t giving me the best deal. This of course led to half a million phone calls, lots of online twiddling and one letter (because after two weeks of no response to an online request and no time to go into a bank I decided to write to them). Despite all this effort, I’m still not done but I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Trying seriously hard not to think about insurance, but once I get this whole bank thing sorted out it’s next on my list.

The downside is that I have had a quilt top sitting half finished for over 2 weeks now, and my lawn is approaching something resembling a meadow. I am determined not to care, about the lawn anyway. Even if it is a long weekend, I will not mow. It can wait til next weekend.

The plan for the rest of the day is to find a quite spot with a cold drink, and maybe just a few Easter eggs, and finish reading my book.

Happy Easter

 

At a loose end

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It’s been a bit of a weird weekend. I’ve been feeling like I’m at a bit of a loose end since yesterday. Which is a worry, because with being back at work, the weekend is really the only time to get things done. I feel bad for not making the most of it.

The problem, I think, is that my weekly planner ran out, so I have no to-do-list for the weekend. Even if you ignore the list, at least it tells you what you should be doing. Right now I have no plan and no projects. It’s already March. The year is just flying by. This is not the time to be without a plan. If I don’t come up with one soon, the whole year will be gone before I know it.

I guess I do have some goals for the year, but most of them are like saving money. They are there, but they involve not doing things and don’t exactly fill my time.

The whole situation is not helped by the fact that it is stinking hot and my air-conditioner is broken. All I really want to do is lay in front of the fan. Two more weeks to wait for the repair person, because its summer and everyone wants aircon right now (including me), and that’s assuming it can be fixed.

Time to find a bit of paper and write a list, I think.

Cinnamon scrolls

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My long holiday is almost over, only 6 days til I return to work and I am feeling slightly miserable. Not because of the whole going back to work thing, but because I have a head cold brewing. I decided to try to cheer myself up by making cinnamon scrolls. Like baking bread there is a lot of resting in the process and I am just waiting for the final rest to finish so I can put them in the oven. I’ve never made them before and I am a little worried that my dough was too sticky, but I am sure they will be fine even if they aren’t the world’s neatest. They should be done just in time for morning tea.

That just leaves me with the question of what I am going to do with myself for the next six days. Some of those days are already accounted for. My brother is getting married tomorrow and I am photographing the wedding. Plus if it goes til midnight, I won’t be home til 1 a.m. and I shall need a lot of napping the day after to recover. For today, I think I am going to pin a quilt and read one of my books. After 3 months off work I am finding it is the simplest things that bring the greatest pleasure. A trashy novel, the cooking channel and my knitting and I am a happy woman. Throw in a pastry and its even better.

Christmas and Gardening

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Only 2 days to go and its Christmas. I’m kind of organised. Presents are all wrapped and I am getting my groceries delivered today because I really didn’t want to be going to the supermarket this close to Christmas. That just leaves a load of cooking and prep for tomorrow and I can relax and enjoy the day.

I am feeling quite productive at the moment. I finished a quilt this week, and have been getting lots of reading in. In part, this productivity could be due to me finally giving in and starting to take something for my hay fever and allergies. Even though I still feel a little bit congested, my head is clearer. It’s amazing how much of a difference that makes.

While the weather is not doing any favours for my allergies, it is doing wonders for my garden. I planted some eggplant, capsicum and tomatoes about six weeks ago and, except for the tomatoes, they are doing great. I have had one harvest of eggplant already and when I looked yesterday, there were about five more growing. The mini capsicums are also growing well. I just need to figure out when is the best time to harvest them. While I had loads of tomatoes, they all rotted. I think they got fruit fly. It was either fruit fly or ants. There were ants on there when I cleaned them off the plants, but the ants could just have gone in to finish off the job. Either way, no tomatoes for me. I am going to have to find a way to protect them before the next lot grows.

 

That’s all from me, for now. Enjoy your holidays, wherever you are and what ever you are celebrating.

Misinformation, confrontation and the internet

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I’m not a confrontational kind of person. Having to tell someone they are wrong about something usually leads to a kind of sick feeling in my stomach and anxiety that plagues me for days. My usually approach when people are misinformed is just to let them be wrong, I figure their misinformed state is not my problem. Plus, most people don’t actually want their minds changed anyway. Our confirmation biases are such that I could throw mountains of evidence to the contrary at them and they wouldn’t believe me, preferring to rely on the one source that tells them what they want to hear.

Yet more and more often I am finding myself in situations where I feel compelled to challenge the information being provided and it usually involves people posting misinformation online. I’m trying to figure out why. I don’t know if it is because the posting of misinformation is more frequent, whether what is being posted is more blatantly false, or whether the misinformation is more harmful. There is a lot of stuff out there at the moment that seems almost designed to stir up hate and by generating hate to increase the power and influence of certain groups of people who are promising action.

I am struggling with this one a little bit, because a part of me wants to say that I have no moral obligation regarding other people’s ignorance. I want to be able to say that everyone has an obligation to be aware of their own biases and to check the accuracy of information before they forward it on or rely on the information to form opinions. But…in saying that am I just indulging my own preference for non-confrontation? Is it something that I actually do myself? I know I try to, but like a lot of people I don’t always have time.

There are certainly some situations where I would be morally obliged to inform people of their misinformed state. For example, if a person was under the impression that they were about to drink a tasty drink but I knew it was poison I would generally think I am obliged to tell them its poison. Is the obligation to tell them any less just because the harms from the misinformation are less imminent or felt by society as a whole?

If I do have an obligation to correct the misinformed, how much time, effort and energy am I required to spend on it? Given the amount of misinformation out there at the moment, it would be a full-time job. More than a full time job and tricky because I am probably wrong just as often as everyone else. I think that is part of the problem, people are coming across vast amounts of information everyday and they need some way of deciding what to believe. Usually people just go with their guts, or with a source they trust. The problem is our guts are often wrong and the people we think are trustworthy are playing us for fools.

So, after that rather lengthy ramble I am no closer to a solution. It’s not really one of those things that one person can actually fix on their own. It needs a critical mass of people to change their behaviour. All I can do as an individual is set the truth as the standard I aim for and hope that enough people come along for the ride.

 

 

 

Lizards and Machine Quilting

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In a fit of exuberance I agreed to photograph someone’s wedding. No big deal really, I have done it before and while it is not a fun job I’d rather do that than attend a wedding as a guest. Not that I have any particular animosity to people getting married, it’s just I’m not a party person at the best of times and usually the food is bad and there are hours sitting around trying to pretend you wouldn’t rather be at home reading a book.

I woke up yesterday though and realised the wedding was only a month away and it has been far too long since I spent any real time with my camera. I decided an outing to the local park was in order, because in the absence of models I figured the local wildlife would make a reasonable substitute. I managed to scrounge up a few decent shots including one of this rather large water dragon sunning himself (or herself) on a rock.

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Didn’t stay out too long though because of the heat. I ended up coming home and doing what felt like an awful lot of machine quilting. I don’t know why that last little bit of the quilting always seems to drag on and on, but it does. I did manage to finish the quilting though and this morning machine sewed the binding on.

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I have a sewing group meeting on Sunday so I can hand sew the binding down then, but for now I am off to start something new as soon as I figure out what I want to do.