Wednesday, February 24

No More Posts

Having started University, doing a Bachelor of Social Science and keeping up with my book blog, Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings I have very little time. So I've decided that I won't be posting anymore on this blog. I was going to shut it down but I've noticed that the page counter is still ticking over so people must be reading it.

When I first started this blog it wasn't long after my Dad passed away in 2007 and I used it to help myself deal with the grief that I was going through. As they say, time heals all wounds and whilst I miss my Dad terribly, life has managed to return to 'normal' even though he's not here.
I've also had some major health issues to deal with and have been seeing a Neurologist, we are no closer to a diagnosis so I just have to live with the symptoms until something else happens or my symptoms get worse. Apparently, this is common with people who have neurological issues. This means that I am tired all the time and my memory is awful so it's all I can do to manage my book blog and my studies.

I will be posting photos of my scrapbooking to my book blog now and also I do weekly updates on my Monday post of what's going on in my life. Thank you to everyone who has read this blog, I truly hope that my journey through grief has helped someone.

To my Dad who was the reason I started this blog, not a day, not a moment goes by that you aren't in my thoughts, life is just not the same without you. My heart yearned for you the week that my first grandchild and your first great-grandchild was born. I remembered how very proud you were when I made you a grandfather and what a doting grandfather you were and how proud you would have been being a great grandfather. It was one of the most difficult weeks I'd had since you died, I wanted so badly to share that moment with you. The only thing that brings me comfort now is that I know you'll be the one waiting for me when it's my time to leave this earth, I can't wait to have you give me one your big cuddles, making me feel that no matter what, I am safe, no one has ever done that like you did. Forever your loving daughter xoxo

So thanks to everyone who has read this blog, please come visit me at Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings where you'll keep up with my life, my love of reading and my scrapbooking. PS I post photos of my gorgeous new grandson as well.

Alaine Signature Owl 2

Tuesday, October 20

It's Been A While

WOW I didn't realise how long it had been since I'd done a post on this blog! I am however, still blogging and most of the time you'll find me on my book blog Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings.

Lots has been happening in the last few months. I finished the Preparing for Success course at Southern Cross University, even managed to get a high distinction for one of my assignments which was just amazing and I still can't believe it. So in February I'll be starting a Bachelor of Social Science, 201o will be a very busy year!

I've been having some gynaecological issues for a while now. Five years ago I had a Mirena put it because of constant heavy bleeding, unfortunately it didn't work all that well and when I saw the gynaecologist the other day he gave me the choice of a Endometrial Ablation or Hysterectomy. Great choice, however, I'm kind of attached to my uterus, and whilst it's true that I no longer need it for child bearing, I want removing it to be the last option. This is the third time I've been told that I need a Hysterectomy, the first time I was only 23 and wouldn't have my beautiful boys if I hadn't insisted on trying other options. So I'm having the Endometrial Ablation on December 6th.

I went to another scrapbook camp a few weeks ago with my daughter Annie so I'll post pictures soon. Sheree and I are going to the last one for the year in November and we are both really looking forward to it. It's always nice to spend a weekend together, away from all our normal responsibilities where we can just laugh and have a great time. It's our 'us' time that we both really love. Next year we are booked in to 4 camps which will be great!

Our pregnant daughter and her husband have moved back in with us so that they can save money to buy a house next year and whilst this puts a lot of extra pressure on me with meals and washing etc the good part is that they'll be here when the baby is born. We are all very excited about this phase in our lives and the edition of the next generation, there is just something so special about it that I can't even put into words. I just feel very blessed.

Well that's about it for now, will update again soon.

Alaine Signature Owl 2

Wednesday, August 12

Dad's Anniversary

Graham John Bucknall 3/8/1946 - 13/8/2007

The hardest part when someone dies suddenly is that there is no time to say goodbye. You are sleeping soundly in your bed and then the phone rings and suddenly your life changes so completely. You are no longer the person you once where. But that's what death does, it changes your life. It's been 2 years at 12.45pm tonight since I got the phone call and for as long as I live I will never forget it. I do my best not to think about it because I can't stop myself from crying. These past 2 years have been a struggle but I have made it through some of the darkest days of my life.

Already we missed having Dad at the first wedding of one of his grand children and now that same grandchild is having his first great grandchild. He would have been so proud! But I know he is still around us, watching over us. Sometimes I have incredibly vivid dreams about him, I feel him giving me a hug. I will wake up and be so sure I've seen him, his hugs were so special and unique, the way he just folded you up in his arms, that's what makes me so sure it's him, his hugs where so different to anyone else.

I'm trying hard this year to remember Dad's life, not his death. It's hard because your mind automatically goes back to those dark weeks in our lives, but that's not what I want to remember about my Dad. I want to remember his hugs and the way in which he loved us, his kids, his grandkids and his wife. I want to remember the way he always said 'what do you know?' when you saw him or spoke to him on the phone. The jokes he told and the way he always laughed at his own jokes which made you laugh even more, I still remember his laugh and the way he looked when he cracked himself up. He'd say 'did you here the one about...' I will always remember the look on his face when I placed his first grandchild in his arms, he spoiled her rotten, she was his angel, 'come to Grandad' he'd say every time she cried.

But most of all I want to remember what an important part of my life he was. He raised me to be the wife and mother that I am today and I know he was proud of me. I know he's still around us all giving us his love, reminding us to make the most of each day. I love you Dad! xoxo

Alaine Signature Owl 2

Sunday, July 26

Dropped the Ball

This week I really dropped the ball. It was a stressful week with Annie home after her dental surgery and then I had one or both boys home over three days with a vomiting virus. My second Uni assignment was due on Friday. So despite my plan to relax a little more I was really stressed.

But what I did get done was a cart that has been used for homework items for years. It's gone! It had become more of a junk holder and it only took me 20 minutes, a job I was certain would take a few hours. So bit by bit as I look around the house all those little annoying jobs are getting done. I also handed in my second Uni assignment, which I have to say would never have happened if it wasn't for my wonderful daughter who helped me and pushed me kicking and screaming.

This weekend I made a list of all the jobs I want to get done before Ian's birthday at the end of August. It's a very long list and includes lots of little jobs and some really big ones i.e. washing down all the railings on the back deck. I have 52 jobs to do in 32 days! As well as that I have my regular housework and four Uni assignments due in that time. But, Uni has to come first, that and my regular housework of course. So my goal is to get my jobs done, my assignments handed in on time and not get stressed. A big challenge but I can do it, if I speak nicely to myself and tell myself 'I can do it' rather than the nagging voice that says 'what were you thinking'. Doing a prep course for Uni is challenging. I actually started it two years ago and then Dad died a few weeks in and I pulled out of the course. It really is a hard course but it does prepare you well for the challenges of university. So here I am again! Wish me luck!
Alaine Signature Owl 2

Sunday, July 19

What a Week!

I have to say that last week was very stressful! Planning out my schedule last Sunday and then realising on Tuesday that I had to do five days work in four as my daughter was having surgery on Friday, add to that Kylie and her husband stayed over on Wednesday night and my mum came and stayed a night as well, to say that I was stressed is an understatement.

Having said all that, gosh I got a lot done! I got both my bathrooms and laundry scrubbed from top to bottom, including walls and I got two kitchen draws cleaned out as well as all the regular housework. I also planted up some herbs and a few veges and flowers. So I'm proud of myself, I did well. I do however know myself and I pushed myself a little to hard and my body paid for it. So my goal for this coming week is to get everything done on my lists but to TRY and relax a little more and not push myself quite so hard.

A few weeks ago I enrolled in a University Preparation course for 13 weeks. It's full time so it's adding quite a bit of stress with assignments due almost every week. So lots of study this week as well.

Annie (my daughter) came through her surgery (four wisdom teeth removed) with no problems and the first 24 hours she was fine. However, by this morning her face had swelled up like a bruised balloon and she's calling herself Mrs Potato Head, she has used up almost all of her pain killers but fortunately I've got some left over from my back injury a few weeks ago to get her through the night tonight until we can get another script from the surgeon tomorrow. So she is in a lot of pain and feeling pretty miserable, still she is a great patient and hasn't complained at all. She has the week off work to recover which it looks like she's going to need. She starts her semester of Uni on Thursday night so we're hoping she is recovered enough to not miss her first lecture.

On the last note I'm happy to say that my 'clean up after yourself' nagging is paying off and the house that often looks like a bomb on the weekend and takes me forever to put back in order Sunday night or Monday morning looks great! My husband kept the kitchen tidy all weekend (he cooks on weekends) and the boys have been putting their stuff away after using it. So tomorrows work load is significantly reduced compared to a 'normal' Monday morning. Should be able to fly through the house in the morning and get some study done as I'm very nervous about a big assignment due Friday!

Hope you all have a great week!
Alaine Signature Owl 2

Tuesday, July 14

Starting to Fly

I've been working really hard over the last two weeks and it is really starting to pay off. The first thing I did was set up my control journal as recommended on Fly Lady, now I've been working it for a week I'm starting to adapt it a little better to suit my needs and lifestyle. Whilst I'm a long way from where I want to end up with the decluttering, I still haven't touched the cupboard that got me started on this whole challenge but I know I'll get to it. My house is looking great and is visitor ready every day of the week and I've managed to do a number of little things that have been bugging me for months. I'm working to lists, because I'm a person who works best that way and I don't have to try and think about what else I need to do, I just pick something from the list, depending on how much energy I have or how much time I want to spend.

One of the things that constantly amazes me is how much you can get done in a short period of time. In 15 minutes every morning, I make my bed, have a shower, clean my shower, vanity and toilet, get dressed and do all my girly things. By the time I get back from school drop off (takes me 30 minutes) I've made all the beds, cleaned the kitchen, done a load of washing, cleaned main bathroom and toilet and tidied up the living area and I don't feel rushed, even though reading it, it sounds that way.

I feel more in control of not only of my house but my life and especially my emotions. I've been very emotional and teary this past week as it's coming up to my Dad's birthday and the anniversary of his death, it will have been 2 years. But because I have kept myself busy and my mind challenged it has really helped me to not become overwhelmed with these emotions and end up really depressed.

I've also begun working on a full time university prep course, which I have to be honest and say is really hard and challenging. I managed to get in 4 hours of study today and I'm starting to get my study plan organised but that is a challenge in itself. But I guess the upshot of this whole challenge is that I feel productive and I have a sense of accomplishment, I can honestly say that I never would have been able to cope with even the idea of studying if it's wasn't for this challenge and Fly Lady.

Alaine Signature Owl 2

Sunday, July 5

15 Minute Challenge Update

Yes it's been a while since I've put up a post. Firstly I can tell you that the our first Grandchild is due on February 7th, 2010.

Now for an update on the challenge! I had an injury that has put my off my feet for about 10 days now. Initially I was on pretty strong pain meds and didn't do a thing but sleep, don't really remember much about the first 5 days. But this weekend I've been up and about just a little and I decided to really get organised! Last night I read a friends blog and she reminded me to be grateful for what I can do instead of worrying about what I can't and also to stop being so negative, which I think I've become lately.

So I've spent my time studying the FlyLady.net and I've made my control journal. It has taken me hours to do up new phone lists, address lists, daily plans, weekly plans and monthly plans. My printer has been running hot for most of the day! I've been printing off calendars for the next 12 months (very easy to do in Outlook) and all the things I need to keep myself nice and organised. I've always preferred to work to a routine but as I'm getting a little older and have some minor back issues it is harder to do a big clean in one day. I find I'm exhausted by the end and just don't enjoy it like I used to. With this new routine the work is spread out over the whole week so hopefully this will work better for me. I've still got lots more to do but I'm taking baby steps, I've got to back up my computer and photos and music and organise all my recipes to make weekly menu planning easier and I still need to do the all important birthday list. But with the kids on holidays I should get most of it finished this week.

I've also noticed that my Google Reader has gotten a little out of control with it reaching 1000+ in a matter of days, in fact twice last week I had to do mass deletes because I just couldn't get through the posts. I'm not sure why, I haven't started following lots more blogs or anything, maybe it's just everyone has been posting more frequently. The problem is when you spend a few hours a day reading your Google Reader and emails and generally surfing the net, that is a couple of hours I could be reading. So I've decided to seriously reduce my Internet time so that I can get lots more reading done. I have so many great books that I'm just dying to read at the moment.

Well that's all for me today. I'm just watching the first episode of Australian Dancing with the Stars 2009, it's one of my favourite shows! Hope all our US friends had a happy 4th of July! So how are you going with your 15 Minute Challenge?
Alaine Signature Owl 2
This month on Queen of Happy Endings you could win Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran or Blood Promise by Richelle Mead. Check this blog post for all the details. International entrants welcome.