Beth Adele

Nothing to see here. Really.

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My house is so still. One child has gone to work, one still sleeps and the other is in his room quietly doing his math. 

I can hear the hum of the fridge. The pur of the outdoor spa. I I hear the dial tone on my neighbours phone, the relentless beeps as she dials and redials a number no one ever answers  and the sighing  as she gives up trying to call whoever it is she is reaching out to. I can hear the key in the door as she locks it behind her and the car splutter to life as she heads off, wherever it is she is going. Noise travels well in stillness. And next door, they are raw, pulsating noise. 

This morning was the shrill screams of a 12 year old not wanting to brush his teeth. The snippets we hear, the language, the fights, makes me think that perhaps these children have some kind of issues that create the daily multiple meltdowns. We've even had soiled toilet paper thrown over the back fence to land in our yard.  You could say these neighbours of ours are what the rest of Australia would derisively term as "Houso's". 

But it's the stillness of these moments, when my children are quiet and hers are at school that I hear pieces of her. The persistent cough she seems to have had for the past four weeks. The constant dialing of a phone that is never answered. A kinder person would go over there, introduce themselves, ask if she was okay or needed a hand. I am not that kind. I just listen. And I know when the working week is done, there will be cars parked all over the roadside and more noise and extra people and more rubbish that finds its way onto my lawn. 

I like the silence, even if it does seem tainted with a kind of sadness. 

3/2 '15 2 Comments
Oh, how beautifully you write. I felt compassion for your neighbor (and I know you feel it too, you just don't have a big enough plate to add her issues to your own, and that's not unkindness, it's just life) when I read your post. I love your prose. You have always been able to move me.
There's multiple meltdowns next door on a daily basis. This morning over breakfast Jase was saying he thinks the oldest one might have behavioural issues or maybe be a kid on the spectrum. I agree. I do feel for her. But yes, I don't have any room on my plate for her problems right now either.
She seems to have support on the weekends, but during the week I think she does it pretty tough. It just makes me sad because I know other people will be judging her ability as a mother based on her kids behaviour and her socio-economic standing. This is a big town (pop. 65,000) but it still has a small town mentality that's very typical of country folk. So she's got it pretty tough. I hope she gets that cough looked at soon.
Beth Adele 3/3 '15

My wonderful boys have broken my internets, again. 

They are going on a net diet. Starting Nov 28 when my data plan resets. Little assholes. I cannot wait until my contract with my current provider is done so I can go back to one that works better for us.  (Why are we on a shit plan? Because we moved to Darwin which is practically a third world fucking country at times and my preferred provider did not service the area I lived in.) 

Also, I got a fitbit for my birthday which has completely triggered my competitive side. (And shown me that no I really don't move enough on days I don't work.) So guess who is off to vacuum the floor and then pace the kitchen like a caged beast until the plastic red band on her hand starts to vibrate and set off flashing lights? 

11/18 '14 8 Comments
I have an Apple Airport Express router. It has a feature that lets you set the hours that each individual device can be online. Currently working great with my teenager.
Thomas Boutell 11/19 '14
Oh god, that sounds like the answer to my problem! Damn kids. Though I suspect they aren't completely to blame... just mostly.
Beth Adele 11/19 '14
Perhaps yours has the feature too...
Thomas Boutell 11/20 '14
I am able to limit use on this particular computer, but not for other devices using the network. (I am somewhat impaired when it comes to all things tech.) But I don't know about my router. It's the one supplied by my net provider. There's three laptops, one iMac, two DSs, four iPads and four Kindles that are all connected to the wireless network. (Oh and two iPhones) I wouldn't know where to start with restricting each device, but I am sure I can find someone who would know that could show me. (I hope!)

I have three teens. (Well the baby is 12 and a half) They are killing my internets every month. I fear if they do it again next month, their Dad will kill them!
Beth Adele 11/20 '14
I have a fitbit. Want to be fitbit friends? I need more motivation - I keep forgetting to put it on my wrist, which is really silly because my company gives me healthcare reimbursement cash if I complete x amount of activity in x months ... which I do, I just don't document it. So stupid!
Yes! Do you have the Flex? I use mine to track my sleep as well. The first two nights it was telling me how great I sleep, which is not at all how I feel. I always wake up feeling drained and tired. Some nights I feel like I am conscious and aware for most of the night.

I've had sleep issues ever since I was a kid.

Then I was actually looking at the fitbit dashboard and noticed there were two settings for sleep. The default normal setting and sensitive. Ever since I switched it to sensitive my sleep percentages plummeted from 90+% to the 50% range. For 8-9 hrs a night I spend in bed, I sleep just under four. (Last night I managed to get 5 whole hours of sleep! which put me at 67% sleep efficiency, the highest it's been since I switched to sensitive)

And yes you really should be putting it on your wrist!
Beth Adele 11/19 '14
It's on my wrist today! I'm already getting better ... haha. It is a Flex. I never thought about using it as a sleep tracker. If you wear it when you sleep, when do you charge it?

I wonder if there is anything you can do to get more sleep. I hope so. Sleeping half the time you are in bed sounds terrible ... well, unless your husband is in bed with you and you're doing something better.
I try to charge the fitbit during a time I know my activity level will be quite low. (Marking the kids school work at the table, scheduled reading, whilst sewing or anytime I know I will have extended sitting.)

I workout most nights. usually. I have noticed I am feeling more tired lately and not as rested when I wake up and I think it's because my exercise for the past three weeks has been inconsistent. So I think I need that second workout in the evening to help me sleep. Not having caffeine after 6pm, (so drinking only water or herbal tea) switching off all digital things an hour before bed (a work in progress with that one) keeping my diet clean. Sleeping at 50% efficiency sucks balls. (And not in the fun way) I do find nights that have no sexy time I sleep less. (Sex fixes so many things.)

Cause my net is running so poorly I have not bothered with my email. (gmail takes forever to open) But I did connect my fitbit to my Facebook so feel free to send me a friend request.

Glad to hear you have it on your wrist today! (I take mine off when I shower also. Wish I could wear it in the pool. Saturday is our recovery day and I swim 1-2 km. Or more, depending on how long we spend at the pool and how I am feeling. This week will be interesting. The hour long kettle bell workout I did yesterday makes lifting my arms up above shoulder height somewhat painful! Windmills will be the death of me)

I set my daily step goal as 10,000. I beat it around 5 days in every 7. If I get over 7500, I'm pretty happy. Especially if I have also exercised. (Weights don't tend to give you much in the way of step counts. Boo.)
Beth Adele 11/20 '14

We tend to eat 'clean' here in the moveable house. 

And by clean, I mean as little processed crap as possible. Of course, we have a freezer full of chocolate, and there's 3 boxes of Krispy Creme sitting on our bench after the trip to Canberra; I mean we aren't strict, we simlpy prefer to eat well. (Which means we tend to shop from the edges of the supermarket rather than the middle isles. Very little that is good foor you is found in the middle isles of the supermarket.) 

Last nights dinner was steak and salad. In summer, I like to add fruit to our salads. It seems to make them crisp, light and refreshing. 

Last night we had watermelon and rocket salad. Which is just rocket, a few finely chopped mint leaves, balls of watermelon, cucumber, danish feta and cooked proscuito. (If it was just me eating it I would have also added some sliced black olives, but I am the only one in this house that eats olives so I omitted them.) The dressing is balsamic vinegar, runny strawberry jam, salt, pepper, a sprinkle of sugar if needed and olive oil.  A friend of mine got a thermomix lately and has been making all sorts of stuff in it. She made strawberry jam and gifted a jar of it to me. It's rather runny for a jam, but makes a nice sauce. So I fgured it would work well in salad dressing and it did. 

I have no picture. It was demolished at break-neck speed. 

But breakfast this morning is not a clean meal. Not by a long shot. (And it's something I rarely eat, but the family loves it, so I endeavor to make it at least once a fortnight) We're having Dutch Pancakes.  My pancake mix is a little different to regular pancake mix. 

1/2 cup of condensed milk

3/4 cup of hot water

(I mix these two ingredients first, then go have a cup of tea while it cools. I usually make a double mix because my boys are pigs, so to save time I add 3/4 cup of hot water and mix then add 3/4 cup of cold water from the fridge.) 

To that I add

20grams of melted butter

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

1 cup of plain flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 egg. 

(Even when I double the mix, I still only use one egg. But that's because we have our own chickens and they lay massive eggs. so depending on the size of the eggs you buy, you may need to experiement.) 

I mix it all up and pour it into a large squeezy bottle.  This is just easier for use with the dutch pancake hot plate. Melted butter on the plate is super yummy, but I just use spray oil to cook the pancakes. They are quite small bite sized rounds of pancake. My plate makes 14 at a time. With this mix you can get 6 plates out of it. I usually double it because the man will eat 4 plates worth on his own. With cream and maple syrup. My little guy will eat 2 plates worth (sometimes 3) but he likes his with melted butter and cinnamon sugar. (They taste like donuts when you eat it like that.) On the rare occasion that I do eat pancakes, I like mine with lemon juice and sugar. 

So a double mix will make 12 plates of 14 mini-cakes. (we usually do have some left over and they are delicious eaten like pikelets with jam and butter.) 

If I get the chance to take a pic before they gobble them up, I will. 

(If I make this on a weekday morning, I make the mix up the night before. I used to put it in the fridge overnight, but the mix would go a little weird sometimes so I only put it in the fridge over night now on really hot nights. But these pancakes are surprisingly quick and easy to make. Its the prep work that takes the most time.) 

Not a good pic, but this is what 1 plate of naked dutch pancakes looks like. 

(Note, this is a side plate not a dinner plate.)

11/9 '14 18 Comments
Mmmm, I want that salad! I'd eat the version with the olives in it.
I'd make it for you with olives and share it. Anytime.
Beth Adele 11/11 '14

Why do I try to do stuff when the TV is on? 

I've been sitting here now for the past 2 hours thinking about the stuff I really need to do but Jaws 2 is on. I don't even like the Jaws movies. But here I sit, with a 12 year old in my lap because I am terribly sappy like that. A little boy, adrift in the ocean near a massive killer shark and of course I have to cuddle my boy. 

It's one of those movies that makes me frustratingly mad. Yelling at the screen at the stupid people. Damn movie. Ruined my evening. Now I'm off to bed. If I dream about Sharks, channel 7 and I will have issues. 

11/8 '14

Tomorrow, I actually have a day off. So the Man and I are off to Canberra for the day. I get to see my old Boss and favourite co-workers. (I really miss working there.) Then I get let loose in the Nespresso shop and Costco. (I'm pretty sure they eat toilet paper in this house. Although, the rate we go through toilet paper is probably closely linked to the rate we go through coffee and tea.) 

Plus there will be Christmas shopping. Next week end our tree will go up. Many years ago I had to make the rule that the tree does not go up until the Saturday AFTER my Birthday. Otherwise, these weirdo's would have the tree up in October. 

This weekend will be spent planning the schooling for the remainder of the year ( we do year round schooling) and getting this house in order. 

Busy times. 

11/6 '14 4 Comments
Enjoy your day off!
Thank you! We certainly did. It's days like yesterday that help remind me why I married that man. He's as inappropriate and snarky as I am. We had a lot of fun and didn't spend anywhere near as much money as I thought we would. So winning.
Beth Adele 11/7 '14
Seems like a perfectly good post to me.
Thomas Boutell 11/6 '14
You're too kind!
Beth Adele 11/7 '14

I was really looking forward to having no rostered shifts for 6 days. 

I really was. I have a lot of lesson plans to finish up and house work to catch up on. (I'm trying NOT to think about the hallway linen cupboard, I don't need to break out in hives. -OMG the winter sheets haven't been put into storage and there's singles mixed in with king singles and doubles. And no, not thinking about it, not thinking about it.)

But the Boss asked for the 27th time today if I'd thought about the xmas decorations yet and if I could please make sure I had them up and done by Thursday next week. (Which would have been fine only I wasn't rostered to work next week) So I thought I had better mention that. Damn it. There go my days off.  

At least my little guy is happy. If Mum's not home there's no Latin lessons. 

11/5 '14 6 Comments
Our sheets live in boxes under our bed. The cat is pissed because the boxes take up some of her hidey space. I try to keep king sheets in the king box and queen sheets in the queen box and all the single sheets in the box under Archer's bed. This works most of the time.

But really, I love hearing from you and about you. You're writing about cleaning and I still care, not only do I care, but I am interested in reading.

Ahem. I will cease fangirling now.
I wish we had room under the bed! The kids all have storage boxes full of childhood trinkets they simply can't part with. My cupboards are just all jumbled up because I am not the only one using it anymore. I usually keeps sheet sets folded inside the matching pillowcase. So you just pull the pillowcase out and the whole set is there. (Same with the doona sets.)

I think we all love sharing and hearing about household hints and ways to make our lives easier. So I love hearing what you all do also.
Beth Adele 11/6 '14
What's a doona set?
Not sure what you call it, we call them donna's some people call them quilts, but ours is wool rather than feathers and the covers are just what you put them inside to keep them clean and make your bed look nice. Clear as mud right?
Beth Adele 11/7 '14

It's times like these I wish I had something interesting to say. 

It's just not to be. So here I sit, sipping tea, waiting for my roast chicken to finish roasting and making mental lists of the things I must do tomorrow. 

Life on the edge, yeah, I live it.  

11/2 '14 11 Comments