Monday, December 14, 2009

Knocking things off the list!

My list of 101 things is slowly being completed....although it's much slower than I anticipated, so I really should get cracking.  To date I've completed 17 out of 101, and have 6 on the go.  Here's a few details on the one's I haven't previously mentioned:

#7. Donate Blood - 17/07/2009.  This was something I've always wanted to do but never been able.  Well finally my doctor gave me the all clear and I was free to donate.  I registered with the blood bank just after the Black Saturday Fires, but the influx of people wanting to donate must have been quite overwhelming for them as they didn't contact me until July to book an appointment! It was a little daunting to start with (I'm not great with needles...but if I don't look, I can usually cope) but I'm really glad I donated.  To think that my small donation of healthy blood helped to save a life was kinda cool.  I'm even going back next week to donate again!

#17. Visit the South Melbourne Markets - 18/07/2009.  What a great morning!! Matt and I went to the Markets for breakfast on the morning we departed for our Tasmanian holiday.  It's strange to think that such a great place was so close to me all this time and I never visited out of sheer laziness. I've been back a few times since July and plan to make regular trips there in 2010 for all my fresh food needs - I LOVED THIS PLACE!

#20. Attend the Melbourne Internaitonal Comedy Festival - 17/04/2009.  Again - what was I thinking not going to this any sooner!! Matt & I went and saw ManFace, a WA act. They were 2 young guys who were quite hilarious, and I'll be looking out for them in the 2010 festival - great show!!

#21. Start a herb garden - 05/09/2009.  Now this has been a bit of an eye opener.  I've always been very anti-gardening.  I hate it. Can't stand the whole thing.  Don't get me wrong I love being in gardens and can certainly appreciate the effort and beauty of a well maintained garden, but I have absolutely no intention of doing the maintenance and effort required for such a thing.... until now.  I decided if I was going to grow some herbs I was going to do it from scratch. So off to Bunnings I trapsed, and I walked out of there with my own propegation kit and seeds ready to start my little garden.  To my surprise it really wasn't all that horribly hard, and within a few short weeks I had some parsely, chives, corriander, mint & basil all sprouting and waiting to be transplanted into a bigger home.  Once I planted them into bigger pots, they grew like wildfire!! And I'm very proud to say I've used most of the herbs in my own cooking.  It's quite a satisfying feeling eating something you've grown from scratch and enjoying it. So much so that Matt & I have now planted our own tomatoes, garlic, strawberries and corn.  Holy Moly... I think I'm a changed woman!

#29. Invite freinds over for a home cooked meal - 11/07/09.  Now this was a fun night! Matt & I invited our very good friends, Chris & Lenore, over for dinner back in July and made a very tastey lamb roast.  With good food and wine & great company it was always a recipe for an awesome night - which it was!

#46. Buy a bookshelf for my room - 06/12/2009.  This has to be the bargain of my life time! I managed to win an eBay auction and got a beautiful bookshelf made of solid timber for a whole $61.00!!! It looked quite OK in the pictures, but you never can tell until you see these things in person.  But for once, I was pleasantly surprised at just how great this bookshelf was! It's made a massive difference to my room - the clutter has seemed to just disappear!

#91. Read a self help  book on careers and money - Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape.  Now this was something I should have read a long time ago! A great book that has certainly helped me get back on track with my savings and investment goals - A must read for anyone who wants to stay on top of their finances!

#95. Subscribe to Women's Health magazine - 28/10/2009.  I've always bought this magazine off the shelf and really enjoy reading it, but finally I don't have to think about when the next issue is coming out - it just magically arrives in my letterbox - YAY!

#90. For one week watch no TV - 06/12/2009-14/12/2009.  This was much easier than I anticipated.  It turns out I don't watch as much TV as I first thought, AND I was extremely productive in getting odd jobs completed around the house.  I'll definitley being doing this again.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Dad Update.

My last entry was quite some time ago, and a lot has happened in relation to my Dad since then! So this entry is an update on what's been happening in my little strange but true world.

Well my Dad has had a few ups and downs. He was accepted to go on a trial drug to hopefully fight the tumors that just keep growing and growing. However, in the process the surgeon's managed to screw everything up quite royally while doing a biopsy on his liver, which landed him in hospital for 2 weeks. He lost about 20kg's in 2 weeks as he couldn't eat anything for about 4 days, and after the surgery his insides were so swollen he just couldn't manage to eat much at all. Thankfully he's at home now and on the mend. His weight is slowly increasing, thank goodness!! When I first went to visit him in hospital i could tell he'd lost a bit of weight but it wasn't until about a week into his stay that i realised just how much it was. He was trying to sit up in bed, using the over the bed pull up handle, and I swear I saw my Grandpa in the bed, not my Dad. He was the spitting image of his own father who was sick for about the last 10 years of his life. I almost fell over with shock!! Slowly but surely he's been getting better though, and has since started on the trial drug. So fingers crossed we'll get some good news about the new drug working some time soon!

For fathers day this year, I bought my Dad a gift voucher to brew his own beer at the Barleycorn Brewers. Because of his unexpected hospital stay we had to postpone our brewing for a short while, but on the 21st November we headed off to the Barleycorn Brewers ready to brew our own beer! It was a really fun morning. Dad had a great time learning about the different processes and adding all the ingredients to make our own Pale Ale. Dad asked his brother Phil to come along with us, and Matt came too. We even got to taste some of the other beers that they have to offer from the beer bank! This satuday the 12th December, we'll be heading back there to bottle our own little brew. I've designed some labels for the brew (all approved by Dad of course) and can't wait to taste our beer and knock back a few with Dad!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Making Memories with Dad

This post is a bit of a release about my Dad's current health situation, and the memories I'm trying to make with him while I still can.

In April of 2008 my Dad was diagnosed with Bowl & Liver cancer. The tumor's in his liver were large and in too difficult a spot to operate, so the doctors decided that the best course of action was to treat him with Chemotherapy first to shrink them down and then attack them with surgery after they had shrunk.

Initially the Chemotherapy treatment was working and all the tumors (there were several in his bowl & liver) were shrinking and a few of them had disappeared completely. However, after 12 months the treatment stopped working and the doctors decided on a new plan of attack. A different kind of Chemotherapy was started in June 2009 to try and shrink the tumors. Although, we were also told at this point that the tumors would never be gone completely and that he would be on chemo until it no longer worked and then it was all just a time game. Well after a brief stint on the new treatment, he was told on Friday the 28th August that the latest dosage of chemo wasn't working, in fact, the tumors have all come back, nearly tripled in size, and had become far more aggressive. The news was pretty heart breaking, but by this point I've become pretty numb to the bad news and have started to expect it.
We haven't been given a time frame for Dad, but we're hoping the new trial drug he starts on in a few weeks will give him some more time. He seems fine to the average everyday person, but it's the pain that's started coming more often that knocks him about. His spirits are still pretty good, but when he's at home in his chair, I can tell he's just not right. He's not quite as social as he used to be, but he manages to put on his brave face around his mates and show them he's fine. I know he's not.

I spent all of last Sunday, the 30th, with him and Mum at their house in Emerald. The day was meant to be for Mum & I to work on our quilt, which we did, but turned in to a lovely day of relaxing with Dad and watching the footy too. After dinner that night, Dad was quite restless and suddenly proclaimed he was making Date Scones. We headed into the kitchen and the cooking began. Dad's never been much of a cook, but he could always do a good BBQ, so this was something a little different from the usual steak on the barbie!

Watching Dad make date scones, sounds like something very boring and mundane to most people, but for some reason on this particular Sunday night, it dawned on me that there aren't going to be a lot of chances to see this kind of thing happen, so I took a few pics and decided to post them here and make some memories. Watching Dad eat his date scones brought a massive smile to my face..... I'm sure many other things will too.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Baby Barren and his Blanket

On Thursday the 6th August 2009 I was delighted to receive a phone call from my very good friend Jeremy, announcing the safe arrival of his gorgeous son Toby Stirling Barren. I was just so happy for him and his lovely wife Zoe! I'd been working on making a blanket for Baby Barren and had luckily finished it off that day.
Matt & I visted Zoe, Jeremy & Toby on Saturday and gave them the blanket I had made. I never imagined the joy it would bring to me handing over a gift that I had made, and seeing how much it meant to them. It was a wonderful feeling, and one I certainly want to feel again. So I guess I'd better start on the next one!!
This also crosses another thing off my list!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Kokoda Track 2009

I can't believe I've actually done it - I've completed the Kokoda Track!! What an amazing experience, certainly one I'll never forget.

15/05/2009 - The experience of a life time all began on the 15th May 2009 at 6:30am when Myself, Fiona, Sammy, Jezza, Garry & Stocksy left Melbourne bound for Brisbane and then on to Port Moresby. On arriving in Port Moresby we were hit with the wonderful feeling of heat and humidty, but to my surprise it wasn't quite as horrible as I had imagined. Our friend Burnsey was at Jackson airport to pick us up and take us on what was to be an eye opening tour of Port Moresby. I was pretty overcome at the situation over there, it's an awful city with crime aplenty, and Burnsey swiftly informed us that none of us were to walk to the streets alone as we just wouldn't survive. Car jackings and theft are huge over there, however we were assured we were safe due Burnsey beign the head honcho for TruKai Rice, PNG's largest rice company which basically runs the economy.

We were taken straight from the airport to Bomana Cemetary. A war cemetary where about 3,500 Australian soldiers from WWII are burried. It was an eerie but beautiful place. The grounds were imaculate and extremely well groomed. The feeling of walking through such a place was quite overwhelming, and it really made me stop and think about what these soldiers went through and the enormity of why I was really there. Each headstone had the soldiers name, age, rank & a message from home. However there were a couple of hundred headstone's with the words: "An Australian Soldier of the 1939 -1945 War. Known unto God." This really pulled at my heart strings, to think that someone fought and died for our country and their identity was never discovered, it really broke my heart.

After the cemetary we were taken to Burnsey's compound where we were staying for the night, and what a contrast to the rest of the city. A nice comfy home with a pool and a House Mary named Bina. House Mary's are local Papuan's maids. We were treated like King's & Queens and shown a fantastic time by Burnsey, his wife Penny and their 2 gorgeous kids, Sam & Riley.

16/05/2009 - Our second day in Port Moresby was more sight seeing with Burnsey around the city and other parts, again more mind boggling stuff, it's such a world away from where we live, incredible. Later that day we were taken to the Hideaway Hotel (not one of the nicest hotels in PM, basically one step up from a backpackers, but we had no choice), where we met up with our No Roads Expedition guide, Josh, and the other 2 members of our trek, Ralph & Tony. Josh gave us a briefing of what to expect over the next 8 days of our trek and how it would all work, and then it was off to dinner to get to know the other team members. After dinner and some final pack inspections, it was an early night to prepare for the big day ahead of us. To say I was a little anxious about the whole thing was an understatement - I was packing myslef BIG TIME!!

17/05/2009 - DAY 1 of the Kokoda Track. It was an early start to the day, as we had received strict instructions from Josh that we were to have our bags packed, and ready to go in the foyer of the hotel by 7am. We were also told that everything here happens on PNG time, and getting our flight to Kokoda is all dependant on the weather, so it could be a long wait for our flight to get clearance. Luckily we were cleared to leave at 8:10am and we headed off to the airport and boarded our little tin can plane to be taken to Kokoda. It's about a half hour flight, but what a beautiful flight it is, the look out over the Owen Stanley Ranges and seeing exactly what we were about to conquer was breath taking and scary all in the one hit.

Arriving at Kokoda air strip was a complete contrast to Port Morseby. It was much like Bomana Cemetry, well groomed, stunning scenery and some friendly local faces to greet us. We met our porters, and waited for them to unload our food supplies for the next 8 days and load up their packs. Then it was off....we were officially on our way... actually trekking the Kokoda Trail!! I didn't realise exactly what I was doing until after 10 minutes walking, then finally hit me...I'd just begun one of the most challenging experiences of my life!!

We stopped briefly at the Kokoda Memorial sight about 20 minutes in to the trek, to start our war history lesson. The memorial that have been erected are wonderful tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives in battle to help save our country, and it really makes you feel quite humble. It was also a chance to look out over the Owen Stanley Ranges and see the rigorous terrain that lay ahead of us......SCAREY!

On we travelled to ..... for a half hour break for lunch. It was a gorgeous little village with friendly faces and yet more stunning scenery. It was also a chance fill our water bottles, surprising how much water you go through when you're walking in the heat & humidity!! Although, I think I was very conscious about getting dehydrated so was continually sipping on my camel back just to be safe. Off we set after a light lunch towards Deniki for our first night's camp. The first day really didn't open my eyes to what I was about to endure until the last hour, which was a nice little ascent up to Deniki.

Then it was time to set up camp and help the porters prepare dinner. Each village we stayed at had guest houses available, which were wooden huts with bamboo thatched rooves. I found it a much better option than sleeping in a tent as there was more ventilation and room to spread our pack out. I quickly discovered my nightly routine after arriving at camp every night: Unpack everything, set up bed, wash (just to get the mud off), rinse out trekking clothes, put on clean dry clothes, attend to feet (blister protection), then realx with the gang. And of course every morning there a routine aswell: Wake up 5:30am, toilet (there was long drop huts in each village - not as horrible as you'd imagine), change into trekking clothes (same clothes every day, they're always wet, and smellier by the day, but better than carrying 8 sets of clothes!), re-pack everything (always the same way), then out to breakfast with the gang. It was my dialy routine that helped me get through some of the days when I really didn't think I could make it.

18/05/2009 - DAY 2 of the Kokoda Track. The morning began with formal introductions to our porters and lead guides. We all went along the line and shook hands and exchanges names and niceties. After our brief introductions we headed off to our lunch destination of Isurava. It wasn't long into the day that I really started to feel just how difficult this trek was going to be, and the little demons of doubt quickly came into my head. It was quite a steep decent up to Isurava and I had to stop several times to catch my breath and have a drink. I found this day really difficult, and before long I had a friendly hand reaching out for me every time I needed it. It was the hand of Elijah, one of our porters, who took it upon himself to help me when I needed it... and boy did I need it!

Arriving at Isuarava was quite unbelievable. It was a breathtaking and very moving place to be. We went to the memorial and had our war history lesson, and very quickly I was moved to tears. For some reason this place really got to me, it made me really appreciate what I have today and just how easy my life is. Isurava is a very humbling place and somewhere I'll never forget.

After lunch we headed on to Alola. About half way to Alola I was it all a bit too much and had to stop several times to regroup and regain my sanity. One of the porters took my pack on to the village for me, as he could see how much I was struggling. As much as this was heartbreaking, and felt a little like failure, it was an absolute blessing. On arrival at Alola I was feeling horrible, my body ached all over and I was highly emotional. But of course, realxing with the gang was the perfect remedy....along with a few anti-inflamatories and some Panadine-forte!

19/05/2009 - DAY 3 of the Kokoda Track. My third day of the track begun with a pep talk from my Trainer. Stocksy could see I was beating myself up over my efforts from the day before and I was really worried I wouldn't be able to make it. However, he knows me too well and had me back in spirits in no time. We headed to Arora Creek, a VERY steep decline, but surprisingly I did OK. Elijah was there to help me through the difficult parts, and before I knew it we had arrived at 1900 Creek for lunch. After our standard lunch of salada biscuits, cheese, salami and cups of soup, we were off toward our camp site at Templeton's 1 for the night. This was a MUCH better day for me, I was back on the horse and kicked ass!!

20/05/200 - DAY 4 of the Kokoda Track. Day 4 saw us leaving Templeton's 1 quite early and off to Nadouri for lunch. Nadouri is the village where one of the last Fuzzy Wuzzy men live. He's said to be one of 3 orginal's left. His nephew came out to us and introduced us all to him. He then told us the story of his uncle and what his job was during the war and what he did afterwards. When he walked out, he was all hunched over and wearing a military hat and shirt with pins, badges and medals all over it. These were all given to him as gifts from trekkers that have come to see him and as a sign of their appreciation of his efforts during the war, gave him what little they could. He is said to be 103 years old. After having our photo's taken with him, for the small price of 10Kena each (approx $5) we headed off toward the village of Kagi. Kagi is the village all of our porters are from. It was great walking into the village and meeting the family members of the people that had done so much for us. The part of the village we stayed in was just beautiful, and so well maintained by the locals. This was probably my favorite night on the track.

21/05/2009 - DAY 5 of the Kokoda Track. We were awoken by the amazingly beautiful sound of the Kagi Village church choir. If I could wake up to the sound every morning, I would be a very happy woman indeed. The trek out of Kagi was an extremely steep downhill descent. I never thought I say this, but this was certainly a time when I looked forward to the uphill climb. After reaching the bottom of the ridge and crossin the river, I got my wish, we were had a nice little climb up to Birgade Hill for lunch. At brigade hill we were met by another group of trekkers heading in the opposite direction who looked very bedraggled and over it. They warned us of the swamp ahead and the "hell" that we were about to encounter. After lunch we headed off toward Menari for our 5th night in the jungle. About 15 minutes before reaching Menari, we crossed a river in a steep valley and were absolutely drenched by a massive down pour. However, as soon as is started, it was over! As we climbed out of the valley and up into Menari, the rains were left behind us and we were met my huge signs saying "TRACK CLOSED"! The signs were due to the unfortunate death of a porter who came from the village of Menari. His family were seeking compensation from the trekking company for their loss, as a porter earns about 5 times the amount of an average Papuan in a week. Luckily for us, our trekking company, No Roads, pay for insurance policies for all of the porters they employ, so we were allowed to continue into the village and stay the night. It was an easy afternoon, but I was pretty well over it, and glad to be relaxed in our guest house. The rain had started again and was pretty consistent the whole time we were there, forcing us all to stay in the guest house.

22/05/2009 - DAY 6 of the Kokoda Track. We left Menari nice and early and were informed of the short trekking day ahead of us, but it was all through a swamp! I absolutely shined through the swamp! I found my feet and managed to power through it like no one's business and earned my name of 'Swamp Rat'. We were headed for New Naro for lunch where we would also set up camp for the night. It rained consistently the whole day and arriving a New Naro at about 1:30pm was great! We were all very happy to be resting up for the afternoon. It was a great afternoon for the team to relax together and really get to know more about each other.

23/05/2009 - DAY 7 of the Kokoda Track. Our morning began quite early as we headed off to Iribawa Village for lunch. It was a lovely village, but after not having any kind of meat for 5 days, I was craving any kind of meat I could get my hands on......and there just so happened to be chickens running around the village freely....all I could see where chicken paramgiana's with legs running away from me...I WAS STARVING FOR ONE!!! After being laughed at by the porters on my efforts of chasing chickens, we left Irabawa Village and moved on to Vuale Creek for our last night. The afternoon was fantastic terrain, through creeks and rivers and rocks, and before I knew we were at Irabawa Village. The sun had come back out for us, and we the locals were more than accomodating in showing us the local swimming hole. It was the perfect way to end the day, and then it was topped off by putting back a very SP's.....marvellous!

24/05/2009 - DAY 8 of the Kokoda Track. Our final day began nice and early at 6:00am as we headed on towards Ower's Corner to those brilliant arches. It was a relatively easy morning, with a break at the creek before our final climb up to Ower's Corner. It was a 45 minute climb up to the top, but I've never been more happy to limb up a hill.... the veiw of the arches as you come up the hill is just amazing. Of course, I was extremely emotional to think that I'd done it, I'd finally finished the Kokoda Track. We all linked arms and walked through the arches together as a team. A team that I'd bonded so much with over the past 8 days. The emotions I felt were quite indescribable, it was a mixture of relief, excitement, and ovewhelming proudness.

The whole experience was just brilliant. It was certainly no walk in the park and I can only recommend that anyone attempting the walk make sure they do sufficient training, as there's nothing that can prepare for such an expereince other than relentless walking and stair and hill climbing. But it's certainly something I'm already considering doing again.


Friday, April 3, 2009

OXFAM Trailwalker 2009

Well the OXFAM Trailwalker for 2009 has been and gone, and I'm sad to report that it got the better of me and I wasn't able to finish.

A little info on the BIG event: Teams of 4 walk 100km within 48 hours through Victoria's bushland to help raise money for OXFAM.

Our 2 teams, Eite Ops 1 & 2 consisted of Jeremy, Sarah, Fiona, Myself, Sharon, Ger, Garry & Sam. We had a target of raising $2,000.00 per team and completing the walk in 28 hours. We did some decent walks around Melbourne as training, and even did a night walk on part of the course to get our bearings and a feeling of walking with our headlamps on. It was a bit nerve wracking leading up to the event, but our team had a fantastic support crew, and we were all very organised with what was needed.

So at 10:00am on Friday 27th March our trek began!! Off we went to test our physical and mental limits. With our camelbacks loaded with drinks and snacks we were ready to face our huge challenge. The first leg of the walk was 12.5Km from Jells Park in Wheelers Hill to Churchill National Park Picnic Grounds. This was a nice way to ease ourselves into the pain that lay ahead of us. We did a quick check-in and out at CHP1, then heading off towards CHP2 9km away at Lysterfield Lake Picnic area.

There was a slight hill on the way which showed me I really was the weakest link of the team trailing quite a way behind everyone, but I knew I'd make it to the top would just take me a lil longer than the others. We arrived at Lysterfield Lake about 2pm to see our brilliant support crew waiting for us with our picnic table laden with salad rolls and treats galore! Sharon from Elite Ops 2 was due to pull out at this stage, due to her pregnancy (only discovered a couple of weeks prior to the event) and so we were down to 7 people. After a feed and feet re-taping session, we were on our way 45 minutes later and headed towards CHP3 at Grants Picnic Ground 13.3km away.

This section was a little tougher again with some nice hills to get the legs feeling the burn. It turns out I wasn't the slowest up the hills, but I was trailing most of the time. This is when the blisters started to come on and the leg muscles really started to feel like they were working. After a brief stop at CHP3 to re-fill our camelbacks and do some stretches and minor taping, we headed off towards CHP4 at Olinda Reserve, 11.7km away.

This part of the trek was the toughest so far. The CHP started off with a steep incline up into the Sherbrooke forrest, and through the botanical gardens. By the time we hit the gardens, it was getting quite dark, so the headlamps were out and we continued through the damp forrest towards Hacketts Lane....a nice little hill with a 30 degree incline!! This was really tough going and went on for what seemed like forever, but eventually I made it to the top and saw my team waiting for me....again! We made it to CHP4 by about 8:45pm and met our support crew for some dinner. Our wonderful supporters had set up camp with chairs and mats and Pasta of all kinds ready to be consumed. By this stage my feet were really starting to hurt, not just with blisters, but with aching all over and swelling, so I ate my dinner lying down and and my feet up on a chair. After a good feed, a change of clothes and a few extra layers, we were ready to head off to CHP5 at Silvan Reservoir 8km away.

CHP5 seemed to fly by and I was feeling like I might be able to actually finish this thing. The blisters were popping themselves as I walked and it was time for the ipod to break the monotony. Arriving at CHP5 was a releif, but it was only a brief stop over to strap feet and replenish our packs. By the time we left Silvan Damn at about midnight, I was doing some serious self re-assurance that I could make it through to CHP6 a short 8km away.

But all of my self re-assuring didn't seem to work. We were about 3km into the CHP when Garry (from Elite-Ops2) and I started to fall behind the rest of the team. The uneven downhill surfaces were taking a toll on all of my leg muscles and joints, and we just couldn't seem to keep up the pace. Before we knew the rest of our teams were out of sight and we were really feeling the pain of it all. I can remember the point that I first felt I wouldn't be able to make it; we were going down a ridiculously steep hill and every joint and muscle in body ached, Garry was a little way behind me, and as I stopped to wait for him to catch up the pain seemed to take over my body and I struggled to keep it at bay. Garry and I continued on trying to take each other's minds off the pain we were both in with mundane boring questions about each other....but alas it really didn't seem to help. The last 2.5km of that CHP on the Warburton Trail were the absolute worst. We both seemed to have lost mobility in our joints and the pain just didn't want to stop. It was flat, hard under foot, and extremely boring. We couldn't see any lights ahead of us, and we seriously felt like we were never going to make it. When we finally reached the last 200 meters (which was all up hill mind you) I was ready to burst into tears. Garry and I both knew that neither of us were going any further. I arrived at CHP6 to find Matt, my wonderful boyfriend, waiting for me. He helped me into the marquee where the rest of our teams were waiting for us. I was an absolute emotional and physical wreck. My body had given out on me, and my mind just didn't want to go any further. I had failed in my quest. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't completely heartbroken and upset with myself. It was about 2:30am and I'd been walking for 17.5 hours, 64kms and I just couldn't go a step further.

It turns out I wasn't the only one going through hell, Garry also pulled out at that point, but to my huge surprise Fi was also in a bad way. Her legs seemed to have seized up and given out on her, she was NOT in a good way, and had also decided this was the end for her. The 4 remaining team members continued on to CHP7 where I met them for some support and courage, however I had no idea the effect the whole thing was having on me. I was really emotional about not being able to finish and we decided it was best that Matt take me home and I get some rest.

The next 3 days I was an absolute wreck. I was extremely emotional and just couldn't understand why I couldn't do it!! I knew that what I had achieved was a great effort, but in reality, I didn't set out to walk 64km, I set out to walk the whole 100kms. So after about 24 hours of rest, I'd talked my self into doing it all again next year.

Only 3 of our 8 team members finished the whole 100kms, and although I'm extremely proud of them, it still really hurts to think I couldn't do it. We've already got nearly 3 teams lined up for next years walk, and even if I have to crawl over that line, I'll finish all damn 100kms if it kills me!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Quilt Making with Mum

Another item on the list in progress:

#1. Make a quilt with Mum -
This is something I decided to do for my Mum's sake more than my own, but today I realised that it's something I'm really going to enjoy. I've always felt a little guilty about not spending enough time with my Mum, and not taking enough interest in her hobbies, so I decided I'd ask her if we could make a quilt together. She's an extraordinarily talented lady when it comes to sewing and she's made some beautiful quilts and blankets over the years. So I was hoping this would give me a little more insight into what she really does for all those hours in that sewing room of hers.
We spent the morning looking through books and trying to decided which quilt we'd like to make, it needed to be simple enough that I could work on it with her, as the deal was that we'd both make it, NOT just her!! Finally we picked out our design, but as there was no pattern in the book, Mum had to make the pattern herself. She went straight to work with her graph pad, ruler and tape measure and in no time was explaining to me how it all worked. Next it was time to chose the fabric. As we went with a 2 tone quilt it wasn't too difficult, so off we trapsed to Spotlight in search of the goods! I've never really liked Spotlight, but I've found in the last few years I'm liking it more and more each time I go.....I think Mum must be rubbing off on me. We managed to find just the right fabrics we needed, and back home we went to start cutting.
Mum seemed to have every tool you could think of to make the job as efficiect and effective as possible. In just a few short hours we'd cut out all the pieces for the main blocks, and Mum was at the machine showing me how it worked and where I had to sew. By the end of the day I was a bit of gun at the sewing machine, (even if I do say so myself) and we'd put together 2 whole blocks for the main part of the quilt, and had pieced together most of the other blocks.
I'm really looking forward to our next day working on our quilt, I found it really satisfying to see just the few blocks we'd put together, and spending the time with Mum was just great!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Progress update 15th March 2009

I've managed to complete a couple of things off my ist already, so I thought I'd share some of the finer points with you.

#6. Go fishing with Dad - We headed out to Port Phillip Bay for an early morning fish on the 03/01/09. I surprisingly had a fanastic time, and I even manged to catch some fish. My boyfriend Matt came along too, and although Dad & Matt may have caught bigger and better fish than me, I'm going with quantity over quality as the winner for the day! Dad caught a beautiful Snapper, you can see it in the pic, he was pretty stoked with himself as it was his first one in that part of the Bay. Matt also caught a snapper, however I'm declaring myself the fisherwoman of the day, as I managed to catch 7 fish......they were all flathead, but still 7 fish is far better than just the one!!

#10. Start a recipe journal - This is something I've been meaning to do for a very long time!! Finally I got off my butt and went and bought myself a cute little recipe book from Kiki.K. and started to fill it in. No more loose recipes floating around in the cupboard, they're all exactly where I can find my cute little book!!

#8. Watch all the godfather movies - GOLLY, what a tiresome effort that was! Thank GOD I decided to do this one over a long weekend! Short reveiw - LOVED the first one, thought it was brilliant. Part II was good, really liked the whole concept of Vito growing up etc mixed with the current situations of Michael, but it went on for waaaayyy too long! Part III was just crap! It was ridiculously and needlessly long. The story line was lacking and I feel I was robbed of 3 hours of my life!