Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Multitasking while picking cabbage

Doncha just love the word multitasking and women have been doing this for years. I would have to agree with wikipedia that, "It has been proven multitasking is not as workable as concentrated times." But then most mothers I know don't have the luxury of being able to concentrate on one thing at a time. This particular subject started bouncing around in my head while I was bending over in the vegetable garden and picking 4 huge Chinese cabbages while making a mental list of all the things I wanted to accomplish today. It is now 10.36 am and I've amazed myself at how much I've accomplished this morning. The day started at 4.45 am with two cups of coffee and quiet time in front of the computer. After going for my morning walk with faithful, exhuberant Bridge (my maltese x) I went out to pick the cabbages which were quickly running to seed due to the warm weather. Stuffed cabbage rolls, cabbage soup, braised cabbage, fried rice with cabbage, pickled cabbage, chicken stir fry with cabbage, coleslaw....................... Well this morning I made stuffed cabbage rolls which have been in the slow cooker since 8 am. Stuffed with minced beef, onion, garlic and herbs and slow cooked in a tomato pasta type sauce. I was cooking ham and eggs for breakfast as I was blanching the cabbage for the rolls. Now a large pot of cabbage soup is on the boil which followed the 4 containers of braised cabbage and onions which are already in the freezer. I am going to try a new recipe Pickled Chinese Cabbage with Chilli and the other things I thought of are going on the back burner. I still have more cabbage left over so the neighbours are going to get the rest of it. I think I'm all cabbaged out. The green beans are coming on now and I'll start picking those tomorrow.

In amongst all this activity this morning I was thinking about the polymer clay pendants I made yesterday and were waiting to be cured in the oven so I dashed out to the garage to put my little oven on and get the 4 pendants cooked. I set the oven for 40 minutes but of course I couldn't just sit around and wait for the 40 minutes to go by so I started this post. And now it is almost time for me to get lunch ready for Mum and Dad. The stuffed cabbages rolls are almost done.
I would have to say that what I was doing was not so much multitasking as just filling up the in between moments of 'concentrated times'. It just feels like I was doing several things at once. Now I have the entire afternoon to make another mental list of things to get done.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

These are a few of my favourite things..........

Focussing on my favourite things keeps the black dog from the door. So I thought I'd do a series of posts on the things I love to do. Being creative in all areas of my life gives me a real buzz. Yesterday I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and was as grumpy as hell. I got really busy and prepared to go to the local LETS market (Local Energy Transfer System) where very little money changes hands we just exchange energy in the form of goods and services. I took some gluten free brownies to sell along with a variety of things out of the garden. At the last minute I grabbed a box of polymer clay beads I had made but wasn't very happy with. They were the hit of my stall. I had several young girls digging through my large box like it was buried treasure and I sold the lot. I had forgotten that it was school holiday time and that some of the younger crowd would be there. Must make a mental note of that for next time. The result was I now have some people interested in learning the art of polymer clay jewellery making. So by the time the next lot of holidays roll around I will have organised a class or two.
The Aussie Polymerclayers September challenge is to create something with the Mokume Gane technique but of course in polymer clay rather than metal so I did the above pendant and it turned out looking like the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. I love doing this particular technique because you never know how it's going to turn out and it is always a surprise and a delight when you see an image hiding in the clay. It is a shame that my camera is not working properly and most of my shots come out with a pinky red hue surrounding them so what you are looking at is not the true colour.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Depression, Antidepressants and Personal jigsaws

I took my last antidepressant a couple of nights ago after 10 years. I have been slowly reducing my medication of Zoloft now for several months. The doctor suggested I start decreasing them when the days became longer during Spring so my body has a better chance of producing it's own serotonin rather than relying on pills to do it. I started earlier because living in the sub tropics means more sunshine anyway so I took a chance. If I was still living down south where the winters are cold and grey I would have heeded his advice. Once upon a time doctors, especially psychiatrists would have suggested that once on antidepressants you are on them for life. Now I am finding out what my body can do on it's own. In my experience I would have to say I was on them far too long because I think the pills seemed to be actually causing brain fog and lethargy. I could be wrong however and all I have to go on is how I feel now. I have more energy, my thoughts have a clarity which has been absent for a very long time and I'm happy for no reason in particular. When problems or concerns come up I can usually handle them without the accompanying depression and sense of hopelessness. I don't, however, put down my change in mood by simply suggesting that it was antidepressants or the lack of them as it has been a long road of both drug and non drug therapy. And may I add not an easy thing to balance. It didn't help that some people suggest I pull my socks up and get on with it. Fortunately I realise they were coming from a sense of fear and a lack of knowing how to help. When the depression was at it's worse I even felt serious contempt for people who knew what I was going through and were giving me constructive help. I just wanted to be left alone and for the world to piss off but at the same I didn't want to be alone. Depression for me really tore at my inner psyche until I felt like someone had ripped me into several pieces with jagged edges and I began to fray. The pieces of my personal jigsaw are now mostly back together and the edges are not as frayed as they once were. Now I can stand back and look at the jigsaw puzzle of my life and decide if I like what I see and I even have the ability to change the picture for my own personal good. As I said it was not just medication that helped but the ongoing determination to seek counselling and education about what I was going through. Education is really the key to destigmatization.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hanna Modra Story

Well done Australian Story for the Hannah Modra story on Monday night on the ABC.

The program evoked past memories of depression through my life. It wasn't a comfortable place to be while watching the story of the teenager's decline into depression and suicide but I felt compelled to stay with it. Her diary had painful correlations with my own thoughts when I was a teenager as well as in later years. As painful a story as it is for the parents to tell it is one that needs to be told and the elements of Hanna's despair need to be studied in detail to help others realise that mental illness is not a weakness. My thoughts used to run along the same lines and I believed I was a defective human being. Oh so not true! Read the website about Hanna Modra and know that depression can happen to anyone. Click on the title to go to the story.

Monday, September 15, 2008

It's been a long time

The family and friends have gone, the last one left yesterday and now it is time to get back to the Spring cleaning. It is time for windows and garden. The weather has suddenly turned too warm for early Spring and I need to water the vegies. The garden lizards are keeping the bug population down and this blue tongue lizard seems to have lost it's tail so I guess someone picked on him at some stage. It's mate was off patrolling at the time I took this shot. Now the only problem I have is getting over a torn sacroiliac joint. If it was going to happen why didn't it happen when everyone was here so I'd have help but no it has to happen after everyone is gone. Well that's life. Just had a chiropractor's appointment this morning and I will go back to see him this afternoon to have some more of the same treatment. I know what did it, it was the installation of an overflow pipe from the water tank to the storm water down pipe on the house. I had help with that but it was still too much. Bugger!