Cleaning up and preparing for Christmas

13 December 2017
Our days have been full all this week. We did our grocery shopping yesterday and drove to Beerwah for the first time since the storm. Oh my, it's much worse than I expected it to be. The trees and rubbish have been moved off the road but is still waiting to be picked up. The railway line to Brisbane is still closed and maintenance crews are going along picking up what they can and cleaning the tracks.  I think it will be another couple of weeks before it's all done. Back here at home, Hanno cut up the storm damaged trees and branches and someone from Airtasker will haul it all away to the council tip this morning.  Now I've seen the rest of the neighbourhood, I think we got off lightly. There are areas just down the road near the Steve Irwin zoo that look like a tornado has ripped through and parts of the local forest will take years to recover.


But I have good news too. We're getting some new chickens next month! A few of our girls have booked themselves into the retirement village and some days the egg supply is beginning to look pretty grim. We have nine girls now and three or four of them have stopped laying so I think a small flock of six new girls will get things on the move again. We often have non-laying hens here because we let them live out their lives just swanning around looking beautiful. I'm always excited when there is the promise of new chickens. They are a big part of our backyard, they give us the best eggs, provide entertainment and laughs and they're great insect hunters.

 Drying oregano in the oven.
You'll probably remember I've been having problems sleeping.  Well, more good news! Although I can't say I'm having a normal night's sleep I'm sleeping well and feeling better when I get up.  I had a checkup at my doctors recently (all is well) and she told me about Melatonin. It's a natural hormone which we all produce in our bodies and it seems I've not got as much as I should have.
This is the Melatonin I'm taking. It doesn't state a strength. It's called Melantonin 6x.

So my doctor told me to buy Melatonin from the chemist and see if it worked for me.  It does.  I chew four tablets before I go to bed and usually feel tired about 30 minutes later. I still wake up once during the night but my sleeps are deep sleeps, I'm dreaming again and I feel it's doing me good. I'm so pleased my doctor told me about this gentle therapy. I don't take any prescribed medication and Melatonin does clash with some drugs.  If you want to try this, please check with your doctor first.


As I said earlier, Hanno and I did our shopping yesterday and bought our Christmas ham and a few Christmas treats as well as our normal weekly shop.  It was a big effort going to Woolworths and Aldi but we got exactly what we wanted.  The job of putting it away saw us overflowing out of our fridge and into Sunny's. Luckily, she only had a tray of mangoes in her fridge in the shed. All we have to do now is return to the shop late next week to pick up milk, cream, fruit and vegetables and we'll be set. I'm looking forward to watching the Boxing Day cricket match - it's a tradition here to spend the entire day watching the cricket to recover from Christmas day and the build up to it. I love knowing we have cold ham and drinks, good bread, salad and leftover pavlova in the fridge, and that everyone can help themselves.  There a few of us here (I'm not naming names) who sit watching the cricket while we knit or sew. I hope you've all got your projects ready. It's just the best way to spend Boxing Day.  Sales, what sales!


And finally my friends, I've had two enquiries about blog courses next year.  I do them online - a mixture of my notes sent out to participants, setting up your blog in your own time using the notes, then two face-to-face conversations with everyone in the course, on Skype.  All the blogs are shared around the group so you get feed back from a few people. The cost is US$100. Along with the usual topics such as layout, keywords, blog titles and style, we discuss how to set up a blog and how to build it up in the following years. I think there are three keys to a successful blog and they are good content, a clear and simple layout and a spirit of generosity, tolerance, inclusion and kindness. The Skype sessions we did on the last course were much better than I expected them to be and everyone seemed to get a lot out of them.  Not only could we talk to each other in real time, questions were asked and experiences shared.  I'm happy to do two separate courses if there is enough interest: basic blogging and blogging to gain a following or a book contract. I'm thinking we might have a course in mid-February if there is interest.   Let me know.


31 comments

  1. How many of milligrams are in each of your Melatonin tablets? I tried taking the 5 mg tablet, but it gave me nightmares or very intense dreams. Now I take just 1/2 the tablet and I'm sleeping better, and having lots of dreams. Debbie

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    1. Mine is called Melatonin 6X there is no mention of milligrams, Debbie. I've had no side effects at all.

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    2. You can´t measure the melatonin in micrograms here. As it is a homeopathic "Medicine", 6x means that it has been mixed with lactose in a relation of 1 to 100 for 6 times. So the content of melatonin would be some nanograms or even picograms. Hilde

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  2. I am so pleased the Melatonin is working for you, Rhonda. I will check it out. I wonder if that would help me sleep through the parties the possums have on the tin roof though :-)

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    1. Chel, I just put up a photo of the tablets I'm taking. We got them at Chemist Warehouse. The recommended dosage is 3 - 5 tablets, I take 4, but I started on 3. We had possums and bats in the backyard last night. They woke me up but I went straight back to sleep. Good luck with them and let me know how you go on them.

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    2. I just came back here to check the name of the tablets again and saw the photo. Thanks Rhonda. I will definitely try them when I am brave enough to go into the CBD at this time of the year. LOL!

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  3. That's great news that you are sleeping well again, Rhonda. I've heard of melatonin. I think my mom used to take it. In the cold weather, I have the opposite problem. I have trouble staying awake past 7:00 p.m.! I start nodding off while reading. Coffee with cream and sugar does the trick, but it's not very healthy. Glad to hear you are teaching more blogging courses. I really enjoyed ours last year.

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  4. Thanks for sharing the Melatonin news Rhonda. Sorry to hear of the damage around your parts. Did you buy your Christmas ham from Aldi? I'll be buying ours on Friday and storing all the Christmas food in the spare fridge in the shed. We now have Aldi at our local big shops, eight minutes away from here, so very exciting.

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    1. Hi Sally. Yes, we bought our ham at Aldi, this is our second year with their ham. I bought the half leg at 6.50 a kilo, same as last year. It was delicious.

      I hope you have a lovely Christmas Sally. xx

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  5. Hi Rhonda, I hope you and your family have a wonderful christmas and I agree about the sales, I would rather do something restful on boxing day, always enjoy your blog and have gained much wisdom from your words, best wishes to you from Judi

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  6. Great to have your news Rhonda. I love your third aspect of a successful blog :)

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  7. Hi Rhonda
    Glad the melatonin is helping you sleep - I was really interested in this because in the UK we have a recognised medical condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder and it is caused by too much melatonin and not enough serotonin.During the autumn and winter our light levels drop so much that we don't get enough sunlight and some of us feel really sleepy, lacking energy and depressed. To boost the serotonin / reduce the melatonin you can use a light box which emits a high intensity light to mimic sunlight and it is used during the first half of the day. People who suffer very severely like Monty Don the Gardeners World presenter are prescribed anti depressants too. I am experimenting with a light box to see if it will help lift the gloom I feel in the winter. You have too little melatonin and I have too much. There is also a debate about everyone here taking a Vitamin D supplement through the winter as we can't produce enough from sunlight and it is so important for good health. Oh for the sunshine! Can I just stress I am not an expert and anyone who thinks they might have SAD should see their doctor.

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    1. Hi Penny. I had heard of SAD but didn't know how it was treated. Lack of Vitamin D is a problem here for folk living in care facilities who can't get outside. Many of them are now being given Vit D supplements.
      I hope the light box helps you. Thanks for your very interesting comment.

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  8. I have been enjoying your blog for several years but have rarely comment. I love the thought of your elderly chickens swanning around looking beautiful😀 I have always been a housewife and stay at home mom. I am now in my late 50's and find that there is still so much to learn. Thanks for blogging!
    Margaret

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  9. Hello Rhonda, have you heard of the melatonin spray you can buy. It comes in a small pump pack that's very easy to use. The type I have used is made by mercola.com. My shift worker niece has been using it successfully too. Shift workers' melatonin levels can get out of balance, so she finds it helpful. All the best

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  10. Being a bit of an Aldi fan, it looks like ham shopping time.
    Hope you all have a wonderful and restful time up there now that the weather has calmed a little.
    My FIL in Caloundra daid that he too did not have too much trouble, just spots u fortunately.

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  11. Hi Rhonda, I notice that once in a while Nature reminds us just how powerful she is. Flooding in Lismore and Kyogle a while back was shocking to see, it really was like a war zone. I'm glad you are all safe though.
    I am putting my hand up for your blogging course next year. How long does it run for? Kind Regards, Lisa

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    1. Thanks Lisa. I have three people for the course so far. We need ten altogether for it to go ahead. I'll let you know what happens. If we do it, it will be in February. The course usually runs over 4 - 6 weeks. You'll be sent the notes and you set up your blog, or improve it, using the notes. About two weeks later we have a Skype session when everyone will see your blog and offer suggestions. Then after another two or three weeks, we have the final session. All other work is done in your own time.

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  12. How lovely to be getting 6 new chickens! Is it difficult to integrate the new ones into your existing flock? We have 2 left who have stopped laying and we are now deciding whether to get a few more or to end our chicken keeping days after these two. We have had them for 3 years. We lost one of our girls a few months ago and another has been sick for a few weeks with a cold!, but she is better now after a vet visit. I love having them in our backyard, but it has been a challenging time when they haven't been well. So we are unsure if we should continue to keep chickens after these girls.

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    1. Hi Belinda. It's not difficult but you need space. It's better to introduce them at night because they will go to sleep instead of fight. There will usually be an element of re-estabslsighing the pecking order when new chickens arrive, so we keep ours apart for a week. We have two sections in our coop, the new chooks go in one side, the older ones stay in the other side. They see each other but don't have contact. This is also good for health reasons. If the new chickens bring in any disease, you can pick it up in that first week. By the time the week is up, they can be grouped as one and there will be a couple of squabbles but its' nothing serious.

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  13. I can't imagine watching sport all day on Boxing day! Give me a glass or so of wine, leftovers and a really sloppy Xmas film and I'll be happy! Each to their own features strongly here I think! I enjoy your blog so so much but you can keep the cricket!

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    1. yes Jane, to each her own. I don't think I've watched a full movie for at least ten years. I've lost all interest in that kind of entertainment.

      Merry Christmas!

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  14. Yay for the Boxing Day cricket! It's a day we all look forward to here and I love the quietness of it compared to Christmas. We make it a "self-serve" day full of Christmas leftovers and sneaky naps. Hope your Christmas is merry and bright and your Boxing Day cricket exciting! Samantha

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  15. Thanks Rhonda, that sounds good. Fingers crossed we get a full class.

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  16. Hi Rhonda,
    I am only just catching up here as I have been really unwell. I am interested in blogging to gain a book contract, though it may well be a pie in the sky concept. I have been messing about with a little creative writing recently, to stop me drowning in the world of theological academia, which I love but it is intense. Also it all aids to help improve my writing in general. Just silly nonsense for kids really but the boys seam to enjoy it. I thought I would start a second blog to share little stories but the book thing I find very interesting and would love to explore it further in your blogging workshop if possible please?

    much love,
    Em
    xx

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  17. Hi Rhonda,

    Can you please add me to your list to let me know if and when your blogging course will start? Thanks - Anna

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  18. Happy New Year
    The melitonin(?) is a homeopathic preparation so dose is probably the dilution (x6). I looked at these a while ago but as I do not believe in this form of treatment, and the lack of research science behind it. Homeopathy has a large amount of anecdotal reports but has not been largely verified in double blind trials (the gold standard for medical research validation)
    Friends of mine previously bought their's from Boots in England which has a theraputic dose (that is tested and standardised) and find it fabulous. It is very good for jet lag.
    I do not mean to disrespect anyone's views on this type of treatment but the expense of these medications is not small and we need to be fully informed on alternate and medical treatments to make decisions based on all the facts.

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    1. It's very effective and the only thing I've tried that works.

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  19. Hi Rhonda,
    Sign me up for the blogging course if you have the interest to go ahead. Hope the new year is treating you well so far.
    Cheers,
    Laura

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