Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas

I just wanted to pop in for a few minutes and wish you all a belated Merry Christmas.

We are having a lovely, if unexpectedly damp, time in Singapore.  Probably not as damp as if we had stayed in Darwin though with the cyclone hitting on boxing day.

We went to the Christmas eve crib service at St Michael's, along with a goodly portion of the Singapore ex-pat community of the under-10s!

We are eating ourselves silly on local foods, and enjoying taking Ginger to some of our favourite attractions.

Thank you all for your blog visits.  I love hearing from you.  I hope to be back here more regularly at the start of the new year.  Theoretically our internet should be up and running in our Darwin house  as of 4 January, but no other transition to phone and internet installation has ever gone smoothly so I just have my fingers crossed.

Oh, and did I mention that our 20 week scan ( a few weeks ago now) showed a bouncing baby boy.  To be honest the bouncing part would be preferable in daylight hours.  This little bump is keeping Mummy up much of the early hours of the morning with his daily exercise session.

Have a safe and restful start to the new year and I look forward to catching up with you soon.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Blue and Green

Toowoomba seems to be swathed in a sea of blue and green at the moment.  Everywhere Jacaranda trees are in full bloom and our yard, like so many others, is awash with agapanthus.

Growing up I heard horror stories about how agapanthus' attract snails.  My grandmother's neighbour had planted them on their common fenceline.  I must say, however, we haven't noticed an excess of snails and I think the punch of colour is delightful.  We actually went into a cafe in Ipswich a week or so back and saw a vase full of them - what a great idea.

Blue has also infiltrated the house with a beautiful new vase, a christmas/birthday gift from my dear friend, hand delivered on Friday night.  Of course, my best friend accompanied it and we had the pleasure of her company for the weekend.  I have filled it with Peruvian lilies Mr Provincial got at the markets on Sunday.

Unfortunately, illness also made it into the house with Ginger and I succumbing to Summer colds on Friday.  We are much better now, I just have no voice.  I am having to communicate with Ginger in a stage whisper which is fine at home but a pain when we are out.  Mr Provincial seems to have picked up the baton though, so hopefully he only gets a mild dose as there is much to do in the garden this coming weekend in preparation for moving out Monday.

We continue to clean out and have finally switched off our second fridge.  Ginger rather liked it when I took out all the components to wash them.  Apparently it made a good cubby house.

I also just have to mention the most amazing spider web in our front yard.  The web itself was beautiful, covered in rain drops, but the engineering was amazing.  The spider had literally spun a 3 metre long thread from the garage to the start of the web.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook

Apologies for the break in posting, my Mother-in-Law came from Singapore for a visit and consequently I haven't touched the computer for emails let alone blogging!  My google reader account had over 400 unread; now 200 - I think I need to revise my subscription policy:)

Outside my is pitch black.

I am thinking...about what still needs to be done before we lose the internet in a weeks time and our removal in two weeks.
I am thankful...for having my old energy levels back.  Morning sickness I am glad to be rid of you.

In the kitchen...I am grateful for a week of not cooking.  DH wanted to cook fancy meals for his Mum last week and I managed to freeze enough leftovers for Ginger and I to eat this week while DH is out field.
I am wearing...ballet tights, leotard, gym shorts and a t-shirt.  I just had my last ballet lesson until after this baby arrives.

I am creating...well nothing.  I am cleaning out a lot though in preparation for our move and that should create a more harmonious experience unpacking in Darwin.
I am have my best friend (aka Ginger's god-mother) up for the last time this weekend.  Brisbane and Toowoomba are much closer than Brisbane and Darwin

I am wondering...what moving tasks I have totally forgotten about and how to get rid of a non-functioning dishwasher.

I am reading...Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks, a novel about the advent of psychiatry.

I am hoping...we get everything done before the removalists come.
I am looking forward 18 week scan the week after next (the day we move out - so DH can't accompany me) and our upcoming trip to Singapore for Christmas.

I am hearing...silence, finally.  It only took Ginger an hour to fall asleep tonight!

Around the house...I have so many piles of stuff, some for charity shops, some for the dump and some that need to buy a storage crate for.

I am much we truly need to make us happy.

One of my favourite things...the stone fruit is in season - apricots, peaches, nectarines and cherries are all calling my name from the fridge

A few plans for the rest of the week...continue my clean out (fabric stash is next) and get the house cleaned ready for the weekend.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A random assortment...

The names of the soldiers released yesterday revealed that the Captain killed in the rogue soldier attack was one of DH's RMC Duntroon classmates.  It has hit DH as a little close to home.  The families of all the soldiers killed and those recovering in Germany remain in our prayers.  

As do those impacted by the horrendous NATO bombing that occurred the same day.


On a more cheerful note, Ginger and I were in town yesterday twiddling our thumbs while we waited for DH to finish a law exam - we are a one car family and Ginger had a chiropractor's appointment mid-afternoon.  We got on with the Christmas present shopping, and called in at our local Christian bookshop as I had seen Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet Spy - a book Sarah at Yellow Pencil Stub has been raving about - on special and I wanted to get it for DH for Christmas.  We also picked up In The Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible by Alister McGrath and The Book of Books by Melvyn Bragg; both of which DH had indicated he wanted from the catalogue.

I also bought Ginger the Veggie Tales Christmas CDs for her stocking.  A purchase I had planned from the catalogue but had not told DH about as he can't stand the Veggie Tales music!  He does concede however that Ginger loves them.  Anyway, while I was searching the CD section for the Veggie Tales CD, Ginger was busy reorganising Koorong's CD selection and picked up a CD called Bedtime Prayers: lullabies and peaceful worship by Twila Paris.  I took a look at it while I was returning the CDs to their rightful place.  I decided to buy it and am so glad I did.  It is a really beautiful CD.  I love the words (and music - see above) of track 6 - Your Whole Life Long.  I thought I would share them with you.

I pray the Lord will hold you close and keep you through the night,
That you will wake up smiling in the early morning light,
That He will always comfort you and make you brave and strong,
I pray that you will follow Him your whole life long.

I pray that you will grow up to be wise and good and true,
I pray that you will please the Lord in everything you do,
I pray that you will hear His voice and learn to sing His song,
I pray that you will follow Him your whole life long.

I pray the Lord will bless you with His presence every day,
I pray he will protect you every step along the way,
Help you love what's right and lead you far away from wrong,
I pray that you will follow Him your whole life long.
This CD has definitely become my go-to for birth and baptism presents.

Also, Melbourne Cup day to day.  The race that stops the nation.  Ginger and I have just returned from watching the Regimental Jewel and Vatican Guineas run by the soldiers down on the oval. The latter has its origins in the Vietnam War, the Regimental Jewel was added when females joined the ranks. Human horses of course!  There was a photo finish in the females race, but the male winner was quite convincing. 

I suspect I shall have to watch the actual race alone, Ginger will be asleep and DH has a function up at the mess. Fortunately, no fancy hat needed to do that!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Our hearts are with them...

Terrible news this morning with the death of three Australian soldiers and wounding of seven more at the hands of an Afghan National Soldier.

My thoughts and prayers are with the families and those that have been severely wounded.

Its the news no military spouse, parent, sibling or child ever wants to get.  The possibility that is best not thought about.  

Days like today we are reminded that our service men and women are the true heroes not the movie stars, music performers and sports people the media tries to label as such.  I have not seen a single member of the latter category put their lives on the line for their country.

God bless our Diggers.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Links: King James and the Quakers

We celebrated 400 years of the King James version of the bible at church this morning.  Many of the congregation had brought in their family bibles for the occasion.  Our rector read us the preface of the original: plenty of buttering up the King to ensure its publication and, a reminder of what a difference it would make for men to hear it in their own language "But how shall men meditate in that, which they cannot understand? How shall they understand that which is kept close in an unknown tongue?"

You can read it in full here.

Another fun discovery this week was Quaker Cottage - the blog of a traditional Quaker wife, mother and homemaker.  My Mum's parents were both raised as Quakers (my great-grandfather went to Ackworth School) but had left the church by the time she was born.  I am enjoying learning more about my heritage.

Friday, October 21, 2011

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} - Baby Edition:)

I am a day late getting on board Like Mother, Like Daughter's weekly catch-up but we had a few minor domestic disasters yesterday afternoon which held me up:)


 I love pink and grey galahs.  They are pretty ubiquitous around here but this is the first time one has actually visited our bird feeder.


I am so happy I can finally share our baby news!  We had the 12 week scan on Saturday and all looks well.  It has been killing me keeping it a secret for the last 8 weeks:)

Another April baby, which means another baby we have to change obstetricians for mid-term because of postings.  Thankfully I have a supportive blogging community and another Australian Army Wife blogger - Posie Patchwork - was able to clue me in on my choice of Darwin obstetricians.
That would be a capital city with only three private obstetricians!  When I rang the obstetrician Posie (aka Jennie) had recommended his April quota was full.  But, thankfully his receptionist was lovely and when I explained my army wife situation and that our current obstetrician had scanned (at 9 weeks) and put the due date at April 30, she negotiated with the obstetrician - while I frantically offered prayers up heavenward - and he agreed to take me on.  

The relief!  

Relief which was somewhat tempered when we got the fee schedule and found out his fees were three times what it cost us to have Ginger here - but you can not a price on quality pregnancy and delivery care!  And, anyway I think that his fees reflect supply and demand for medical care in the Northern Territory - a growing population with few doctors willing to brave the working conditions.


Ginger dragged the dog's bed out last week.  

Apparently it makes a pretty comfy seat.


Ah, morning sickness my old friend.

It explains my lack of posting the last 2 months.

It also explains the state of little Ashwin's (see update below*) quilt! 

I started the quilt six weeks ago when we learned he would be very early; it is still in pieces!  I went and bought a little outfit this week and posted it off. If my morning sickness with Ginger is guide I have another four weeks of this. So, Ashwin may be waiting some time for his quilt.  

On the upside I have not been anywhere near as non-functioning sick as I was with Ginger.  I just don't have the energy or inclination to do any more than I have to.  But, at least the house is tidy if not actually clean and I have  been capable of preparing some meals.:)

We just won't talk about the preparations for moving out in six weeks time;)

My own meals have been dominated by this goodie - Vegemite.  Manufactured in Australia since 1923, it is a yeast extract product. 

You really have to grow up with it to like it, but Australians generally love it.  It is salty as anything but, importantly, it is the world's richest known source of vitamin B and vitamin B is known to aid in controlling morning sickness. 

*An update with regards Ashwin.  The hospital he is in practices Kangaroo Care - as Leila has posted on before - so my cousin got to give him a Kangaroo cuddle on the second day after he was born.  And, on Sunday (4 days after he was born) she was able to breastfeed him for the first time (he still had his sucking reflex), and then he slept on her chest for 2 hours.  What great news!

Friday, October 14, 2011

A to Z of me

I saw this over on BLD in Montana and I thought it would be fun to give it a go.

A=Age; 27

B=Bed size; Queen.  We bought a new bed in Melbourne but it has really come time to replace the mattress - which bought off a family friend when we got married.  A spring has sprung so to speak, so there is some competition over who has what side of the mattress. I seem to get it more often than not, as DH asserts he is considerably heavier than I so it digs into him more:)

C=Chore that you hate; vacuuming.  Absurd, I know, but it always takes me so long. 

D=Dogs; Two, small fluffy things.

E=Essential start to you day; a shower and clean hair!  I am a little obsessive about the latter.

F= Favourite colour; Apple green 

G=Gold or silver; Gold

H= Height; 168cm or 5 ft 6 in.

I=- Instruments you play; Piano and Euphonium; though since I haven't played the latter since I left school my competency is questionable.

J=Job title; Stay-at-home Mum.

K-Kids; one.

L=Live; Toowoomba, but very shortly that will be Darwin.

M=Mother's name; hmm, not really my information to share.

N=Nickname; None.  My mum and dad utilised their combined (at the time) 40 odd years of teaching to come with a name that does not lend itself to being shortened.  My mum always calls me Possum Magic (after the Mem Fox story) though.

O=Overnight hospital stays; one as a baby for plastic surgery after I cut my face open falling out of my parents bed (the plastic surgeon was one of my Dad's former students - Perth is a small place) and I had a few nights when Ginger was born.

P=Pet peeves; people making social arrangements (or discussing events that have occurred) in front of people they have no intention of inviting.

Q=Quotes from a film;  goodness, I am not much of a film buff - but "Tell him his dreaming" from The Castle makes me laugh.

R=Right or left handed; Right.

S= Siblings; Only child.

T=Time you wake up; usually 6:15  - that is when Ginger stirs because DH turns on the shower.  DH has usually been up for an hour or so getting some study done.

U=Underwear; Really?  Lets find another 'U' word - university.  I am very glad I went even if I am not using my knowledge at the moment.

V=Vegetable I hate:  eggplant.  I can tolerate it in Moussaka but nothing else.

W=What makes you run late; hmm, running 5 minutes early and thinking I can just squeeze in one more job before I go.

X=Xrays you've had; ankle (age 4), dental, pregnancy scans - I can't really think.  Oh, I had one done on my foot when I fractured a bone at ballet.

Y=Yummy food that you make; lemon cake and molasses cookies.  They are definitely favourites around here.

Z=Zoo animals;
I love the orangutans.  Ginger has never been to the zoo so we are planning a trip to Singapore Zoo when we go up to visit my in-laws in December.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

Joining Like Mother, Like Daughter as usual on a Thursday.

Just one photo this week as a tribute to a very special little boy....

This little boy arrived last night.  He is a beautiful miracle.


We are so happy that my cousin made it to 33 weeks as it has been a day by day proposition since 26 weeks; and we have all been so worried.    At that stage they learnt that the condition that caused the loss of their last baby was likely to also affect this little boy.  In the weeks since, the Doctors have been walking a tightrope between giving little A enough time in-utero and getting him out before the blood flow in the cord dropped too low.


Nothing particularly funny in this situation - but DH did ask if that was a hat on little A's head!  No, dear its a tube:)


He will be in NICU for a while but all the signs at the moment are positive.

To us, little A's safe arrival is clear evidence of the power of prayer.

Reading Labels on Jam Tins: Lessons from life in Depression Australia

I have just finished Reading Labels on Jam Tins, a social history by Bill Bunbury on life in Western Australia (my home state) in the early part of the 20th century.  

I found the section on the Great Depression particularly interesting in light of the current worldwide economic condition.

A sustenance camp, Harvey early 1930s

It is generally conceded that the Great Depression hit Australia harder than most countries, and perhaps Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia were more affected than most States in the Commonwealth.  Certainly, Australia's unemployment rate during the period was second only to Germany.  Western Australia suffered from a lack of economic diversity - farming was the mainstay of the West Australian economy and many were forced off their farms when wheat and wool prices collapsed.

 "The Depression etched itself on the faces, habits and minds of those who endured it; the cautious, thrifty behaviour of this generation often a source of amusement to the next one. 'Don't throw that away, son, you never know when it might come in handy.'

Their homes and garden sheds overflow with 'come in handies'.  These squirrel habits and a reluctance to be in any kind of debt are the abiding signs of the survivors, the marks of those who absorbed the painful lessons of the 1930s".

~Bill Bunbury, p. 152

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Just one of those days...

Yesterday was just one of those days where plans that should execute quickly and easily go awry.

I went to have a blood test taken at our local collection agency and the nurse was unable to get any blood out.  After three goes she sent me into town to the central clinic.  There the lovely American nurse (with a great southern accent) had a good look at my veins - tightened the tourniquet, got me squeezing the foam ball (which, incidentally, left Ginger in total nuclear meltdown because any ball belongs to her!) and started to extract.  She got two of the vials filled before the vein collapsed.  A very determined lady, she started flicking me to get the blood to flow again (I am familiar with this  - the anesthetist had the same problem when I was delivering Ginger).  We got all the necessary vials filled but I am left with a rather sore, bruised arm.

The nurse's conclusion was that I have 'delicate' veins for which the suction of the needle is too strong and they collapse.  I told her that in future I will just come straight to her and avoid the middleman:)  She responded that "that is what they all say".  So, I wonder just how many people have trouble with these outlying clinics.

Then I got home and realised that in my distraction of trying to console Ginger about the ball  I had told the Nurse my weight from when I delivered Ginger not my current weight.  Goodness knows why but this thought occurred to me about 10 minutes before the clinic shut.  So, I duly but rather sheepishly rang up hoping to get the lovely Amanda again but, no, I got the lab scientist whose tone very clearly indicated that he thought I must be a lunatic to have overestimated my weight by 10 kilograms (about 20 pounds).

Ah, it is days like that which remind me just how fallible I am:)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

Gosh, it is a month since I last posted.  I have neglected this little ol' blog!

Joining Like Mother Like Daughter for {pretty, happy, funny, real}.

Last week DH had a week off work so we went away on our first family holiday since June of last year.

Which, incidentally, does not count because taking a 2 month old to England to visit relatives is certainly not a holiday for the mother:)

We had three nights on the world heritage listed Fraser Island staying at the Kingfisher Bay Resort.

All I can say, is we timed it very well as the day after we left there was a fire on the island and half the resort had to be evacuated!

The island and resort are certainly very pretty.

We approached the island by ferry and the resort was hidden away in the trees.

Our room was probably the only one in the resort that didn't overlook the water - but we were happy with our view of the trees.


Ginger had her first visit to the beach - we are in that small percentage of Australians that don't live within a cooee of the beach.

Once she got over being uncomfortable with walking on the sand she had a great time.

I love those darling sturdy toddler legs.

"Honestly Teddy, you just have to taste this sand!"

The second day we were on the island was really overcast.  

We were supposed to go on a whale watching cruise which was included with our package but had to pull out because there was a severe wind warning and we were advised against taking young children out.

So, DH suggested we walked to Lake McKenzie instead.

The brochure we picked up from the hotel desk said it was a 5 1/2 to 6 hour round trip for a moderate to fit person. 

DH said that they always overestimate these things and it "absolutely will not take us that long" because they won't really have measured a really fit person.

Well, you guessed it ladies, it did take a long time.

5 and 1/2 hours of a long time!

And we took shortcuts on the return leg by walking on four wheel drive tracks.

On the plus side we did see the stunning freshwater Lake McKenzie.  

And, were able to refresh our feet in it for a whole 10 minutes before starting the homeward bound leg because it was already 12 pm and we only had muesli (granola) bars with us, and the hotel restaurants closed at 2pm:)

Ginger was sorely unimpressed by the whole proceedings.

In fact, she did this for a good portion of the walk until her Daddy forgot he was carrying his daughter and not an army pack and jolted her awake while readjusting the weight.


Ginger sleeps with a lot of plush toys at the moment.

So, they all had to come to Fraser Island with us.

Sometimes, it is even hard for her to get her arms around them all!

When she tries to pick one up, she loses the others.

Got them all at last!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What is on your "No Compromise" list

Last year one of the contributors on the Simple, Green, Frugal blog discussed the concept of 'no compromise' purchases.  Purchases which for some reason or another - ethical or environmental - you feel very strongly about what product you will buy.

After reading Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food over the weekend, this has been back at the forefront of my mind.

This is my no compromise list:
  • Fairtrade chocolate, tea and coffee.
  • Free-range eggs and chicken.
  • Free-range ham and bacon.
However, in light of some commentary in Michael Pollan's book I am wondering whether I should be seeking out organic options for my poultry, eggs and bacon.  In Pollan's book it is pointed out that "free-range" refers only to the ability of poultry to access a small outside area - not necessarily a green area either.  They are also often only grain fed rather than being allowed to forage.

In terms of bacon, I have been buying Castlemaine Australian Bred Free Range which is the only free-range bacon I have been able to find readily available.  However, I do wonder what exactly "bred free range" means - what happens after the birth; how humanely is the animal raised?

I am also beginning to think about beef.  Since pastoral scenes of grazing beef cattle is common in Australia it had never occurred to me that cattle could be raised in feedlots.  If this is the case, I am going to have to be very careful where we source any future meat purchases from.  

Oh, and milk - what about the antibiotics given to cow's to prevent infection?  After nursing Ginger for all this time I have a heightened consciousness about how readily anything given to a lactating mother (be it human or bovine) makes its way to the milk supply.

Aghh, so many things to get my head around.  Not to mention price differentials.  My husband is definitely not going to be a vegetarian any time soon so these are ethical and health issues I really need to consider.  Anyway, when I shop I will continue to abide by my no-compromise list, though it may be strengthened over time.

What is on your no-compromise list?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Weekending: Father's Day

My Dad - reading Winnie the Pooh!
Informal Father's Day celebrations here.
We had a special breakfast of croissants with homemade and local jams.
Then church.
I made a Black Forest Cake for DH; something I usually reserve for birthdays, but Father's Day is an equally special celebration.  
It didn't divide into three quite as well as usual!  The cream started a sideways slide.
And of course, I made a phonecall to my own special Dad.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Links

Hope you all have a lovely weekend.

DH is coming home tonight so Ginger and I are busy fluffing the figurative nest and preparing a welcome home supper.  Actually, we just bumped into the convoy at the front gate as we were returning from the grocery store, so probably should speed the feathering up a little.

Here are a few articles I have enjoyed this week.  Hope you find something of interest.

A recipe for a push-in pie crust.  I have just made this for dessert tonight.

Interstitial time, or why knitting is such a good moment filling activity.

Motherhood as a vocation.

On when perfectionism and to-do lists overwhelm.  I really needed this the day it was posted.

And, grab a cup of tea because the latest issue of Rhythm of the Home has been published.  I am particularly keen to make the Martinmas lantern bunting.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

Joining Like Mother, Like Daughter for this weekly celebration of the ordinary.

A Ginger heavy post today.


A little out of focus, but my girl moves fast these days.  

When Ginger smiles like this, she really glows.  

These soul deep smiles are always so fleeting that we have never captured one on camera before.


I am just loving watching Ginger's imagination take flight.  

She is starting to use objects to recreate experiences.  Here she is using her basket to take dolly for a ride (complete with brrm brrm sounds), just like we push her around on her Leo the Lion.


A friend passed this lovely little french top on for Ginger.  

But it was missing three buttons.  Just after I commented on Leila's post on hacks saying I hadn't any, I had to get creative to fix this  - those checked buttons are fairly distinctive.
It turned out there was a spare on the inside label, but I was still two short.  I searched through my Nanna's jar of buttons and found two white fabric buttons.  A rearrangement of the existing checked buttons and sewing on the two white buttons produced a top which was good to go.

And then, as I put in on Ginger this morning, button number five (the bottom button) fell off.  

Back to the mending pile!


My daughter has discovered poking out her tongue is fun.

Charming, darling!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thrifting and Compulsive Acquisition

A blog that I read regularly - Ivy Nest - gave a link to this article on craft consumerism on Friday night.

It fitted in nicely with some musings I have had recently on my own op-shopping experience, aka thrifting.  Actually, as a side note, when did it get a name change?  In Australia it was called op-shopping in my youth - which is actually, at 27, not in that distant a past. Perhaps it is further evidence of globalisation.  

Thrifting seems to have undergone a major facelift in recent years.  I don't know if it is the power of the internet which makes it appear very popular or if, in the face of the financial crises, it has actually grown in popularity.  One thing is clear, though, shopping for goods secondhand is very 'now'.

Ok, so this is actually one of my more useful finds, some small modern cloth nappies - we own a one-size-fits-all model and they don't actually fit a small baby.
But, I wonder if this nascent trend is very meaningful.  Surely when criticism is leveled at people for shopping as recreation it is just as valid if they shop for new goods or old.  To me, it seems that the issue at stake is the motivation behind the shopping - the need to compulsively acquire. After all, a secondhand piece of tat is still tat if you don't actually need it or really want it - it is just a more affordable piece of tat than something bought new; and its 'consumption' (good economist word there) has theoretically less of an environmental impact.  

There are certain blogs out there where people show and tell each week of their op-shop or yard sale finds.  Fine, this is a fun thing to do and certainly provides encouragement that the elusive item you are after can be found if you have sufficient persistence and luck.  However, I grow uneasy when I see the same person week after week posts their finds which seem - at least on the surface of it - to be purchases for the sake of it.  I mean, I like quirky retro kitchenware as much as the next person, but how many coffee cups and plates can one household reasonably use?

Honestly, haven't I actually heard of a library?
In recent weeks, I have found a compulsion on my own behalf to frequent op-shops in our area.  After some luck finding some lovely clothes for Ginger and a pyrex storage bowl, I felt like I was on a roll.  Rather than just popping into an op shop for a poke after completing other jobs in town, Ginger and I took a couple of mornings op-shopping.  We fitted as many in as I could before Ginger had a meltdown and we had to go home.  And, I bought items that were not in the greatest condition and were certainly not needed.  In fact, one pyrex bowl ended up in the bin upon my return home because it had a crack in it I hadn't seen at the shop.

Now, please don't think I am in anyway casting aspersions on people who op-shop regularly - the nature of the beast means you do have to visit frequently if you are going to find goods you need.  But rather, my own uneasiness comes from the fact that we don't actually need anything at the moment - well, a new coffee plunger would be useful to DH after the last one was Gingered - and these excursions were about the experience and, for me, the siren call of the 'what if'. 

I think I knew deep down that op-shopping was becoming a less healthy practice for me when I began to stress about the number of children's books we I had acquired recently, and had a re-read of my blog and realised that just about every second post was about something I had found op-shopping.  But, it was not until we were discussing budgets and DH made the point that all my 'little' op-shop spends - $3 here, $5 there actually added to something quite substantial, that it really hit home. 

DH and I have come to the conclusion that I need a little op-shopping budget.  After all, I do enjoy the thrill of the hunt and we have acquired some useful and beautiful possessions this way.  But, I am going to keep a list of items I am on the look out for.  For instance, at the moment that would be  - a coffee plunger, a table lamp, wicker baskets, the Brambley Hedge "Spring" book, pyrex food storage containers, and glass storage jars.  Anything else, I seriously need to weigh up the need versus want angle; and perhaps throw in a bit of William Morris -"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful".

P.S.:  I hope I haven't offended anyone in this post.  It really isn't meant to, it is just where my thoughts are at at the moment and it is about my own journey with simplified and grateful living.