Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Should Buy Shares in Ferrero!

With a long break between my first bout of nausea and the second, I assumed I was one of those women that'd have only one or two moments and then be fine. Um...no. I haven't had a lot of nausea compared to many other women, but what I am experiencing is plenty, thank you very much! Fresh made (but weak) ginger tea and Tic Tacs have been my bestest friends since Saturday. And as I discovered when Alaskaboy bought home some orange ones for a change of pace last night, it must be Bold Mint Tic Tacs for it to stop the wave of nausea cold. The orange ones taste nice, but they're missing that magical something.

The nausea itself I don't really mind, I pretty much laugh at myself once I'm done with a round of gagging, just because it sounds so funny in the middle of a sentence. "Blah blah blah URKurkURK blah URK blah." When combined with the wooziness in my head and the tweaks, twinges and aches in my breasts and uterus, then I feel just downright revolting and it's no longer funny.

I'm not really having any cravings for anything, and some times have trouble knowing what to have for a meal. Oh, It's easy to know what I DON'T want, but what I do? Sometimes it's a little difficult. I've even caught myself saying out loud, "Well, c'mon then, tell me what we DO want for a bloody change!"

My intuitive eating has switched gears again. It's not intuitive in what to eat, it's completely intuitive with regards to how much I eat. Especially now that the nausea's kicked in, if I over eat at any particular eating time, even by a few mouthfuls, I'm extra nauseous pretty soon after. I've also learned that my body means it when it says, "I don't WANT to eat this meal time, I'm busy doing other stuff right now." Other times I've pushed it I've had indigestion and felt really queasy. My reward for only drinking ginger tea the night that I had the Jack In The Box for lunch was to sleep soundly and wake up hungry for breakfast the next morning.

Oh, and to know exactly what I wanted. Which was lovely. Nothing worse than standing there trying to find something you want to eat in the fridge or pantry, knowing a big part of the nausea is how hungry you are, but trying to avoid looking at anything that may set off a gag reaction. When I know what it is I want, I simply reach in, grab what I want and pretend I see nothing else in the fridge at all!

Holy crap! I hope I'll be able to eat the Christmas pud! Note to self: Pack suitcase half full of Bold Mint Tic Tacs, just in case. Can wear clothes any old time, pud only comes around once a year!

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Now Bring Me Some Figgy Pudding.

In response to my patchwork post, Erin says, "I have no idea what you have hung up or why or what is in it."

Just like the figgy pudding in the Christmas song and like many other Christmas puddings made throughout the ages, it is simply a fruit cake that has been boiled/steamed. (In England, pudding is often slang nowadays for dessert also.) To most Australians, when you say chocolate pudding or sticky date pudding, they'll automatically think of something that looks like this. A cake that has been baked or boiled so that there is sauce in the bottom of the pan. It is of course usually served with icecream thusly. I don't know if I'll ever connect what Americans think of as pudding with the term pudding. To me it's a milk based gelatine or perhaps instant flavoured custard.

My particular Christmas pudding recipe contains:
Suet(rendered beef fat suitable for human consumption)
Flour
Breadcrumbs
Brown Sugar
Eggs
Brandy
Bicarb soda/baking soda
Hot water
Mixed Fruit (Sultanas/golden raisins, Raisins, Currants, Mixed Peel, Glace Cherries)
Extra mixed peel
Blanched almonds
Chinese five spice
Nutmeg
Allspice

After mixing, the batter is placed on a square of muslin/calico cloth, tied closed then boiled for three hours. If we were eating it straight away, I'd boil it for five hours. But, it's much more flavourful if left to hang/cure for at least four weeks. Then boiled for another two hours before serving piping hot with whichever accompaniment ya like best.

It does taste different to fruitcake. I detest Christmas fruitcakes, especially the boiled kinds with loads of brandy soaked into them. But Christmas pudding, I adore. And to me, it is part of what Christmas is about. I have vivid memories of helping Dad to make it every year since I was fairly young. I'll always associate the smell of Brandy with making puds too. My how times have changed since I used to hold my nose, because I couldn't stand the smell of it, before pouring it into the bowl. LOL

Hope that helps explain what it is in the pictures.

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Minestrone a la McDonald.

(measures are US not Metric)
2 c onion diced
2 c carrot diced
1.5 c celery diced
2 c cabbage diced
2 c zucchini diced
1 bulb garlic, chopped. Yes, bulb, not clove.
2 c kale leaves, chopped.*
3 * 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
3 * 15 oz cans kidney beans, drained
1 * 10 oz can tomato paste
big sploosh of red wine
8 c chicken broth(or 12 cups broth and no water if use low sodium broth)
4 c water
1 level tsp sugar
s & p to taste
slightly more basil than oregano. Sorry can't be more specific with herb amounts than that, it depends on your own tastes/smells. Can always add a little more in towards the end of cooking to brighten it up a little.

In a BIG pot, sauté onion, celery and carrot until onion is translucent.
Add cabbage sauté for a few minutes. Repeat with zucchini. And then garlic.
Add tomato paste and stir to combine, cook for a minute or two. Deglaze with the red wine.
Add rest of ingredients and bring to a boil.
Simmer at least 40 mins, stirring regularly.
Taste, adjust seasonings and water consistency. (Sometimes it's too thick so I need to add water, sometimes too thin so I need to cook a little longer.)

Now, this can be eaten without pasta in it. The Italian place I worked for served it that way. If you prefer pasta in your minestrone that's fine. Just boil some up before serving. Don't want to cook it IN the soup else it goes all soggy and nasty before breaking down completely. Although if making a small enough pot that it will all be eaten and doesn't need to be stored afterwards, you can cook the pasta in the soup for the last fifteen minutes or so.

*(Usually use curly endive, but didn't have any. Kale leaves worked just fine though.)


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A Patchwork Post...bit o' this and a bit o' that.

We were in bed early Friday night to get up at 6am to take one of the cars in for a service. After dropping the car off, we were a bit hungry so grabbed some bread and cheese from the nearby Mexican grocery...and oh god the freshly cooked chicken nuggets in the hot food display case were torture! I wanted THEM on my sandwich instead of daggy old plastic cheese. But, cheese it was.

Feeling fortified after the sandwiches and a drink of OJ we headed back on down to our area to our local grocery store. It was weird being there before 8am, so quiet but surprisingly not as empty as I thought it'd be. Back home to drop off that stuff and have a better breakfast then out again to continue at other grocery stores.

By the time we'd covered the three stores I was again ravenous...but feeling decidedly queasy. I also had a headache and was terribly grumpy. I didn't realise why until Alaskaboy pointed at the sky. Holy Smokular Ashes, Batman! The ash cloud from Friday's fires had finally drifted our way, and was settling in for the duration. Add in the fact the temperature was in the 90s(30s) when the week before it had been Autumn temps...Not Happy, Jan!

I'd planned to do a whole bunch of cooking that afternoon, but I was way too hot to even attempt it, especially once we closed up the house. But I'd rather too hot than gagging and choking on that godawful stench. Having to go back and forth to the laundry to wash the towels was bad enough! I made Alaskaboy go out and retrieve the finished load because I could NOT face a third trip out. So much for the long walk we'd planned for that evening! We thought about going down to the beach, but with no guarantees it'd be clear down there we elected to stay inside and do chores.

We cleaned the kitchen, and then decided to go with cooking despite it being almost dinner time, because neither of wanted any of the lovely fresh food...except for the minestrone we'd planned on for dinner. So, we had a snack, and then I coached Alaskaboy, from a distance, on how to make the minestrone. It's something he's always wanted to learn because of the soups I make it's one of his favourites. We even remembered to measure things this time. (recipe will follow in another post.)

We prepared the ingredients together but then I asked him to do things in the order he thought it should be cooked. It was fun watching him make it. It's also interesting how much he has learned over the past five years, I guess from watching me cook and from sampling what I do make, plus he does have good cooking instincts anyway. Other than not knowing about putting in a little sugar to combat the tomato acid he pretty much got the soup spot on smell and flavourwise. (We added the sugar in towards the end since I forgot about until then as well. LOL)

And then, after eating tasty soup for dinner that he'd cooked himself, he was feeling all inspired, so he made butternut squash soup as well. I must say he made this better than I have in a long time. He actually had the patience to let the soup cook down enough to a lovely thick consistency. I usually give up before I should and settle for thickening it with cornflour. LOL

We nattered on the phone with my parents while it finished cooking, and by the time we got off the phone with them, I was beyond grumpy into emotional. Being overtired tends to make me revert back to about 3 years of age, I swear! And since Alaskaboy was the cook of the evening, he got the fun of staying up with the pots in front of a fan praying that they'll cool enough to go in the fridge/freezer sometime before the next century! While I got to go to bed and suck the paint off the ceiling. :D

Sunday we were again up at 6am, was just the time we woke up. We spent the morning doing chores, and then because the smoke had cleared a little it was time to think about making the xmas puds. Umm... except we only had one cloth left. Luckily, Mum had sent us a store bought pudding cloth the other year. Also lucky that we were making three puds this year: one full size and two half size. So, I hand washed the store bought cloth, while Alaskaboy hemmed up the cloth we did have plus made a patchwork cloth out of leftover pieces from the other ones we've cut out over the years.

But, he also had trouble with the sewing machine like he'd had earlier in the day when he repaired a torn seam on our cooler/esky backpack. For some reason it just wasn't picking up the bottom thread. He spent a fair bit of time hand turning the machine. I spent a lot of time head down in my cross stitch. Especially after he sewed one of the pieces on with the seam on the wrong side....

But eventually we got it done, and the puddings cooked and hung. Patches will stay here for us to eat when we come back from Christmas vacation. Big Fella is off to Dr Kay's next month, and High Flyer will accompany us on the vacation.


It's not a Magic Pudding but a Patchwork Pudding!

Yesterday morning we were up even earlier! 4am. Alaskaboy had a 6am start, but breakfast is always half an hour earlier than the start time. (After breakfast with him, I drove back home again. 6:28 my head hit the pillow. 6:30 I was out like a light!) Now, between a choice of a three hour round trip bus trip to go to a meeting I had to attend, or getting up early to drive him to work so I had the car...it was a no brainer for me. Especially since once the appointment was done I could drive back up to the location and while away the afternoon doing some shopping and browsing through a bookstore.

Except...the shopping was done super quick, it was hot, and there was no bookstore where there was s'posed to be one! Grrrrrrr. To make matter worse, the burger I'd had for late lunch (because it was the only place I could eat at along the way that wouldn't be too expensive) was not sitting well. I now know I do NOT like Jack In The Box, and why. I'd had it once before, several years ago, but assumed I didn't like it because I was in the Australia = Wonderful / America = Terrible phase of adjusting to living in a foreign country. Ahhh. Nah! Bun = too sweet. Sauce = blech. Pickle = {shudder} and just the flavour combination I did not like. The ONLY thing I liked was the actual meat patty. But I was hungry, so down it went. And I felt disgusting the rest of the day. I didn't even eat any dinner it was that heavy in my stomach.

Felt much better this morning when I woke up. Made myself breakfast of porridge with honey and milk, plus a toasted swiss cheese and mushroom sandwich and a glass of orange/pineapple juice. Yum! I'm finding since the food poisoning the other month my body really is preferring the cleaner foods, except when necessity dictates like yesterday's lunch and convenience wins. Even then though, it lets me know natural stuff is better than junk food.

Felt so good in fact that after breakfast I donned my swimsuit. Then the phone rang. So I yabbered, made some more calls, and then was finally able to finish getting dressed. Halfway through getting dressed I remembered Alaskaboy had taken my car today...and his was still getting repaired. FUUUUUCK! So much for a swim. Oh well, now the air is clearer, I can go for a walk later when it cools down a bit.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

That Wasn't There Before!

Of course, the major reason I'm really not so keen on the exercise at the moment, which I can't tell you yet, is that I'm waiting for the all clear from my doc as to what exercise is okay for me to do. I had a bit of a scare last weekend when most of the few pregnancy symptoms I've been having went away.

I mean, I could not only stand facing the shower spray, but my nipples were perfectly fine with being touched by the bath towel. WTF? Sure I still had that heavy, slightly crampish feeling in my lower belly, and my boobs eventually shifted to feeling tender in a different spot than that had been but that was about it. Oh! And Sunday afternoon I had this weird bout of dry retching and feeling nauseous for about half an hour. I'm guessing it was my first, and only so far, go at morning sickness.

Although, there are some times when I do feel nauseous, but I've figured out that it means I'm hungry and eating pretty much stops it cold. Speaking of eating, my eating habits also changed pretty drastically over the weekend. I went from my beef and greens love fest to an orgy of carbs. I mean, literally a carb orgy: Four plain white rolls and a handful of hot chips for dinner on Sunday night, with half a can of Sprite to wash it down with! From then up until today it's been all about plain and simple foods. Chicken with mashed potatoes. Chicken with rice. Chicken with bread. Mashed sardines on toast. And some meals I didn't even feel hungry or know what to have when I WAS slightly hungry. Last night, Alaskaboy was home early enough to cook dinner. I had so little interest in food that I washed dishes while HE cooked. And I didn't interfere once! No Way! I hear you say. Yes Way!

He did make a delightful tofu puff and veg stir fry. Which I ate and enjoyed as much as one can with not much appetite. Not much appetite also came from a bit of a binge I had yesterday. Over the course of the afternoon I had two packets of Korean seaweed and about half a packet of dark chocolate McVitie's Digestives. I'm pretty sure the binge was equal parts relief, fear, and impatience.

Relief: I took another pregnancy test on Monday, and the positive line came up even before the control line! (Last week I had to wait a little bit after the control line.)
Fear: Is the baby viable? Will we hear a heartbeat at the ultrasound etc plus all the usual fears of a pregnant woman. And, why don't I have many symptoms?
Impatience: I know my doctor's appointment is this Friday afternoon, and she'll be able to confirm the pregnancy with blood tests but the system sucks! Why do I have to see my GP to get a referral to see my OBGYN? It's stupid! But, I'm also trying to wait as long before official tests so that when I do get to the OBGYN's office, he'll be able to do the 8 week scan straight away. I didn't want to go in earlier before there was a chance of hearing the heartbeat. Because as we all know, I'd fret even more waiting to go back for the next test. Plus it's another trip I'd have to do all the way up there.

Then last night in bed, my lower belly was itchy, as it sometimes gets along the fold under the pannus, and as I was scratching it I noticed something. Usually around my pubic region under the skin I can feel the very bottom of the abdominal muscles. They feel kinda like a flat sheet of muscle that thickens when I tense them up.

Instead of that usual flat sheet of muscle, plus the various spongy bits, I felt something firm. A different kind of firm to what's normally there. I poked, pressed and prodded very gently, kinda how I remember feeling gynos do before but even lighter than that. Then I had to get Alaskaboy to double check my discovery. He too gently probed that area and sure enough, he felt the same thing I did.

There in my lower abdomen we felt a firm, slightly rounded shape about as big as a squash ball. Then it truly hit me. OMG! There's an embryo in my uterus! I really am pregnant and having a baby.

Funnily enough, my appetite came back at 4am this morning. I had to get up and make myself an egg and parmesan omelette with a slice of toast and a glass of Gatorade. Breakfast, when I got up again at 8:30am, was leftover stirfry from last night, plus chicken galbi, sesame leaves, rice, and young radish kimchi. With another glass of Gatorade. (It's been a bit dry the last few nights here.)

So, now I'm kinda excited about Friday. And hoping that next week I can go in to have the ultrasound confirm everything's going great. :) And now, I really am off to have that swim.

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Cooling Down.

Now that the weather is cooling down--as much as it does here in L.A.--I find myself wanting warm foods again. I'm still trying to find a good vegetarian baked beans recipe. Anyone got any ideas for me? I've been wanting eggs on toast for breakfast with hot cups of tea, both herbal and caffeinated. The beans are also good on toast or as a side for a meal. But our meals have been mostly asian-inspired ones recently.

I made a chicken green curry the other night, but wanting to space out the chicken as we only had a couple of breasts left, I used only one. I added my usual veggies; onion, carrot, potato, butternut pumpkin. Also not really in the mood for a whole bunch of saturated fat because I'd eaten a LOT of Dr Kay's cheesecake recently, I added a can of fat free evaporated milk along with a can of coconut milk. (We usually use 2 cans light coconut milk. The too rich full fat kind has been the only one available recently though.) Chucked in a bit of brown sugar and fish sauce, the limes were a goner, and there was no green beans. Hmmmm. At the end of cooking time it wasn't quite right, apart from the other missing veg there wasn't enough meat really . So I threw in half a block of diced firm tofu and let it simmer for another ten minutes. MMMmmm Mmmmm. I know I'll be making THAT version again.

Not really knowing what to eat for lunch. . .I think it was Saturday, coulda been Sunday. . .one day last weekend, I reached for an old standby; canned salmon mashed with mayonnaise and a bit of lemon then eaten with crackers. But, I wasn't in the mood for it really, I wanted warm food. Not pasta, not leftover chicken stuff, not korean food or indian, something definitely with the salmon. Hmm, mushrooms, broccoli, red capsicum, onion, garlic, carrot, and some spinach...oooh I know what we haven't had in awhile! Salmon and Veg Mornay.

Nothing simpler than making up a quick white sauce, tossing in a bit of cheese, mustard powder and ground pepper, then dicing up a few veggies, sauteing them and adding in a couple cans of fish, plopping on the sauce, stirring in the baby spinach and serving it atop leftover rice. Alaskaboy wasn't sure if he was hungry, so he dished himself up a smaller than usual amount of the mornay over the rice...and within a few mouthfuls went back and added half as much again. From his comments I guess it satisfied something in his soul too this weekend.

Speaking of soul satisfying, I'm finding myself with not much inclination to go swimming lately. Which is odd. I'm guessing that's to do with the colder weather. All I seem to want to do is nap (doesn't help there's arguments outside every other night, sometimes more than twice a night), and perhaps go for a light stroll in the sun. Oh! LOL Perhaps I'm still shell shocked over the fwiggin' fweezin' water down in San Diego. BRRR.

Perhaps it's also to do with gearing up for the holidays. I'm really looking forward to going to visit the in-laws this Christmas. Although it's hard to believe it's Pud Making Weekend this weekend, Thanksgiving in two weeks and then Christmas a month after that. WHERE has the year gone? I used to laugh at my parents when they'd say, "As you get older the years get faster!" But oh, oh, how it's true! It's probably helped that I have been so busy with writing stuff this year so I haven't been sitting around and moping as much. Plus the therapy and exercise etc. Hmmph. Yeah actually living a life does make the days go faster, doesn't it? My house may be messier than other years, but I'm happier and more fulfilled. I'm also stitching like a madwoman to get all the cross stitches finished for various Christmas presents. AIYEEEEEE!

Being busy and more fulfilled is also probably what's behind my cooling down towards exercise too. I don't feel the frenetic need to change and sculpt my body into something acceptable like I have done in previous years. (I'd even exercise extra leading up to christmases with either side of the family in hopes of magically losing several dress sizes and not feeling like the largest person in the place! Perhaps I figured also it'd mean I was worthy of their love and respect if I was thin? Idiot!) Exercise is now an enjoyable part of my life. Sometimes my life doesn't allow me time or energy to exercise for awhile, but I'll always come back to it, without the need to punish myself by acting like a bull at a gate for the first few weeks. I remember when I'd exercise for hours on end just to have something to do during the day. Sheesh.

Wow, looking back over this post, I must be feeling a little whimsical this morning. That, or it's the hot glue making me high. They had to cut up and change a section of our hallway carpet today. A couple of days ago, not only did my kitchen sink back up(with no overflow thankfully!), two other apartments had backed up pipes also, AND the apartment above us...their toilet overflowed. Upstairs' bathroom flooded completely and then it streamed on down through our hallway light fixture and through a few little holes in the bathroom doorway, plus in behind the wall. That was an exciting fifteen minutes or so until I got all the buckets arranged and tracked down the maintenance guy to let him know. I was actually the first to tell him what was going on, the poor bugger upstairs was too busy bailing to go for help. (And of course, small world that it is, one of the carpet guys had been to Australia for R'n'R while a Marine during the 50's.)

Actually ya know what? After all this talk of water, I think I am off for a swim. Or to at least get there and test how warm the water is, and then get in if its comfy. Toodles!

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Intuitive Like Never Before.

Before we went to San Diego, we had suspicions I may have been pregnant. Not only was I going on high beam in breezes that normally wouldn't bother my breasts, but I was Tired and Moody. I figured it was mainly because my body was still a little sensitive after the food poisoning, thus I was run down and the PMS was stronger than usual.

When I missed my period, I assumed I hadn't ovulated due to the stress of the food poisoning. (As had happened once before, so I had precedent.) All I had were two brief spots on two different occasions, by brief I mean pale pink and the size of my little finger nail clippings. Leading up to Dr Kay's arrival I was again TIRED. So tired in fact that I had palpitations and brief dizzy spells whenever I pushed myself hard by...oh...say...doing the dishes. At this point I figured it was my body finally reacting to the pepperoni I'd eaten over the last few months.

Alaskaboy believed I was pregnant. So much so that last Thursday morning before going to work, he leaned down to give me my usual morning kiss and to tell me he loves me, and then he kissed my belly as well and said, "And I love you." I laughed at his whimsy then went back to sleep.

Over the course of the time she was here it seemed to be a competition between Dr Kay and I as to who was the most tired and who could consume the most red meat and leafy green vegetables. Both totally seeking out what our bodies need. In a way she wins though, her SlowFe tablets have a higher iron dose than my prenatal vitamins. LOL

And the peeing. Oh God, the peeing. It's part of the reason I haven't been getting enough sleep lately. Peeing every hour on the bloody hour, and also waking up because my sore boobs have been touched just the wrong way by something; probably the bloody air for all I know! And despite all this peeing, I'm still up at 7am every morning. Which of course means I need a two or three hour nap during the afternoon.

And I was waking up hungry at 4am. Hungry enough to eat an egg or cheese sandwich and go right back to bed, with no indigestion. Thankfully, I've made up the lost weight. I've also now figured out that a bedtime snack of carbs and protein stave off the middle of the night munchies.

Tuesday morning, I woke up not having peed all night, and Alaskaboy hadn't gone to work yet, so I accepted the timing offered and took the test. It came up positive. Bit of a shock I must tell you. I'd been focusing so hard on not getting my hopes up, to avoid the same disappointment of the previous two months, that I'd sort of half kidded myself that I wasn't pregnant. But there was the proof in the two little pink lines.

I went out and showed him the test, in the middle of his yoga session, he said, "I told you!" LOL So yeah, Lil Miss Intuitive was surprised and her husband knew long before she did. I am excited, even though it hasn't really sunk in yet. This is the first positive home test I've ever had. Last time we were pregnant the blood tests at the gyno's office showed I was pregnant, but never the home tests. This time there was indeedy a positive result. Now I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it means we've got a viable embryo this time.

Will be making an appointment with my doc next week and then she'll give me a referral for my obgyn. Am hoping that by the time I go in for the first check up with the obgyn that there'll be a heartbeat. Possible, since I'm probably about 5 weeks along now. :)

It is interesting how my body has shifted from multiple smallish meals a day to four calorie dense meals. Thank God I've got this intuitive eating stuff worked out or I'd be freaking out about wanting a piece of cheese cake every single day! Especially on top of all the meat and other dairy products I'm eating. The current pattern over several days seems to be, meat and carbs, protein and carbs, meat and veg, meat and carbs, with a bit of calcium at every meal and then a meal that is completely vegetarian.

And if I don't eat when I get hungry, then the nausea hits. So it's even more imperative to eat when my body tells me than it has ever been before. No puking yet, but the hunger-induced nausea is sufficient thanks!

(I'm also having to fight the urge to hit publish post on this instead of save draft. LOL But I will post it when the time comes to reveal all!)

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Friday, November 07, 2008

San Diego The Sequel.

No I haven't forgot my trip report for the first trip, but it's taking awhile to write with how busy we've been lately.

This trip was MUCH better. No food poisoning. And Alaskaboy took Friday off and drove down with us. Ahhh, luxury compared to the first time we did the trip with Dr Kay when I drove from L.A. to San Diego three times in the one weekend!

Getting up at 7am on Friday after only 5 hours sleep was a bit rough, but that's what Alaskaboy and I get for farting about and failing to make sure we were packed and ready to go. We actually made it out the door only 16 minutes late. A big improvement on the last time when Dr Kay and I were over an hour late. I'm betting it helped this time that we were too tired to talk much in the morning. LOL

An uneventful trip down was made delightful by both the pleasant weather, the good conversation and the delicious breakfast/snacks we'd packed: peanut butter and lingonberry toasted sandwiches, beef jerky and some of the $2.99/lb oranges.

We arrived in time to throw Dr Kay out for her conference, then we drove off to do some sightseeing and shopping. Surprisingly, we pretty much got it all done in time to pick Dr Kay back up when she finished earlier than expected that evening.

We'd planned to have dinner at the wonderful restaurant we'd discovered last time and bragged about to Alaskaboy for months, and then head on out for a splash in the pool and the spa. But again we were all so tired, our usual enthusiastic foodie conversation about the meal was muted. Even the cup of chai wasn't enough to do more than raise my eyelids momentarily above half mast. So, to bed we went.

Saturday we were up bright and early. LOVE to watch the sun come up. We had breakfast in our room, shooed Dr Kay out the door and then went off to work ourselves. I was so pleased with how well the scouting worked out this time. I found most of the key places I was looking for that were important for plot points. And what I couldn't find, I'll be able to look up on the internet. Took several rolls of film worth of shots, then it was time to go get Dr Kay for lunch. Her introduction to In'N'Out burger. Which she liked, despite having to wait in line forever for the meal to come. Big mistake actually going at lunchtime! Oy Vey!

We whizzed her back in time for her next lecture, then dropped the car off at the hotel. After having a stickybeak around the whole exhibit hall, we took in a few of Dr Kay's next lectures with her. Then we schmoozed some more, with yummy appetisers and wine while we wandered the exhibit hall, this time tagging along behind Dr Kay.

With our appetites whetted and our feet sore, we headed off to the supermarket to buy supplies for our poolside picnic. There's something decidedly decadent about sitting on the pool deck many stories high and watching the stars come out while eating an array of appetising goodies. We lingered as long as we dared, but it was heading on towards closing time and after the previous evening's fade out we wanted IN the pool tonight, dammit!

For a change, I was the wuss when it came to getting in the water. They were in and frolicking while I was still standing shivering on the bottom step. Normally I'm the first one in and teasing the other babies about how wimpy they are. Lemme tell ya, pay back is A BITCH! LOL Eventually I got in and then it was pretty much like any other cooler day, warmer IN the water than half out.

I did get a little redemption when I kicked their arses up and down the pool with a few races we had. It was, however, short lived triumph. I was the first out of the pool because I couldn't stop my teeth chattering. Yeesh. I've always had a problem with overheating in spas/jacuzzis so I did my usual trick of rotating between sitting on the top step and the side of the spa. This year it was a decidedly cool breeze blowing, so I wrapped a towel around my shoulders...eventually dipping it in the warm water periodically to stay comfy enough all over.

We pushed it as late as we could, knowing the end of daylight savings would give us an extra hour's sleep. I was still shivering on the way back up to our room, even after drying off and sticking my sarong and t-shirt on. I felt like the biggest baby in the world. I also felt like I'd done nothing but say, "I can't do this, and I can't eat that," all bloody weekend. A huge change from how fit I felt last time we did the trip together. At that time I was also in the honeymoon phase of Intuitive Eating so I felt REALLY good.

After whining to Alaskaboy and then blubbering on Dr Kay, followed by my first full night's uninterrupted sleep in a week, I felt much better. But still tired with all the walking we'd done over the previous two days. So, after checking out, Alaskaboy and I spent a quiet day in the exhibit hall, either reading or attending lectures or using our laptops for work. Lunch was lovely. We finally got to attend the Bondi restaurant that the Aussie group had been raving about. We shared a roast lamb shank meal, blue grenadier fish and chips, a roasted vegetable sandwich and had some beer. Everything was tasty, and since the conference had cheap and nasty food for about the same price we would have paid for this meal, we were definitely satisfied.

Dr Kay fell asleep on the way home in the car, not surprised since she's a bit anaemic at the moment. I was starving by the time we were 2/3rds of the way home, but there was nothing we really were interested in stopping for. I'm thinking we were all completely fed up with eating restaurant meals, despite how fabulous they all were, because when we got home and I made a simple chickpea and veg pasta meal we wolfed it down like it was the best thing we'd eaten all weekend. LOL

And of course we were so tired we didn't even clean our teeth before falling into bed.

One regret is that we were too busy to meet up with some friends of ours who live down there, but next time we'll go down to visit just them.

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