Monday, October 31, 2011

October 31...

The end of the month. A month that has been full of running, birthdays, no alcohol consumption (which turned out to be very easy I must say), holidays and working.

To finish off the month I am talking about ... running... again.

Here is my time for yesterdays fun run

5km time: 36:51
Overall position: 186
Gender position: 110
Category position: 19th       My category was Masters 45+, they start putting you in the over the hill category pretty quick.
507 competitors had results recorded.

I didn't beat my time from the Mothers Day Classic. I didn't think I would as the conditions yesterday were pretty bad. In May I was able to finish in 29:56. Plenty of room for improvement.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

October 30...

Grey     rainy     cold    wet  

These were the conditions for todays Fun Run at Lara.

When I got up I saw the note Hayley had left for me.

It wasn't raining when I set off from Bacchus Marsh but the closer I got to Lara the worse it got. I was wet through waiting in line to pick up my number and timing tag and the pre race warm up did little to warm me up.

But off we started, about 700 of us foolhardy individuals, some to run 10km and some to run just 5. The track was pretty muddy and the grass was sodden. There were some very large puddles. My paper race number lasted about 1km before sliding off in a sodden state. I held the timing strip in my hand for the rest of the way. If I was going to finish this race I want to know my time.

The course was nice and would be much better without the rain. Many marshals were standing with their wet weather gear and umbrellas directing the flow of runners. At one stage I was passed by a Dad (fit looking individual) pushing a running stroller.

Not sure what my time will be, probably slower than Mothers Day, as the conditions were worse.

Thanks to big Sis who came down, got a bit wet herself, and took some pics for me at the end.

I'm just waiting now for the results to go up so I can compare. I'm looking for a PB now I have done 2 timed runs.

And looking for another run to do.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

October 29...

Today was Derby Day in the Spring Racing Carnival. Traditionally you wear black/white fashion.

If I was attending I quite like this dress

with all of its black rosettes.

Someone forgot to tell Dita Von Teese the dress code, she turned up in a bright red dress.

Friday, October 28, 2011

October 28...

It was a wild windy warm day today and now we are having heavy rain. I can hear the windswept garden soaking up the moisture.

We did manage to dig the hole for the gate post this morning. Chris, muscles pulsing, did the digging part. My job was to scoop the dirt out while he had a rest. By the end I told him it was deep enough when I couldn't reach the bottom any longer. The notches are cut and the concrete is set, the next step is to hang the frames and attach the colourbond sheets.

I also had some nice 'inside' time, between going for a swim, vacuuming the house and helping outside.

I turned a wooden bangle form and 1.5 metres of silk ribbon

into a lovely handmade accessory

Looks a bit washed out in this pic but in real life the colour of the hand dyed silk ribbon is lovely.

Pretty good for about $10.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

October 27...

After a very busy week at work I am looking forward to the next 5 days off.

Cup Day on Tuesday is a public holiday in Melbourne and the schools are having the Monday as well making it a very long weekend. Radically this year I didn't even put $2 in for the ward sweep.

I'm looking forward to some relaxing and a bit of running mixed in. I'm still not convinced about the weather for Sunday, the bureau are still saying showery and cool. I'm putting my trust in my sisters' words that 'it never rains in Lara' and am not expecting to change that status. 

We also need to dig a large hole to put in a fence post that will hold up the new gate, That also is weather dependant - not too hot (don't want to get too sweaty), not raining ) because digging in the rain is no fun.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October 26...

Have you seen the latest in running gear? One could spend a fortune on simple things like sock and shorts. And don't get me started on shoes and swimmers. But the technology in bras and running pants has become ridiculous

These capri pants are $135

but do they make you run faster?

The pants I run in now are 3/4 length and being black and tight fitting are quite hot in the sun. I am considering going to shorts in the hot weather.

Do I go for the slim fitting bike short style or the looser fitting shorts?

Price might be the deciding factor but I am quite taken with the tangerine shorts.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

October 25...

Just a few days til the Lara Fun Run. A few days to do some last minute training. A few days to keep a nervous eye on the weather.

I'm not too sure about this forecast, I'm hoping for a better one closer to the day.

I'm up to week 8 of the 9 week C25k program. I've been walking, running and swimming. I heard a nice quote from Bear Grylls today. He said no matter how hard or tough the thing he is doing is he knows he only has to put up with a relatively short time but the pride he feels from accomplishing it lasts far longer.

I'll think of him next time I am running.

October 24 (belated)...

Distracted today (she says, posting this a day late) by

  • Reading... a Jodie Picoult. I borrowed 3 Picoult books from a friend. The first one I enjoyed and finished in about 2 weeks. The second I've had beside my bed for about 2 months and have read only a few pages. I finally gave up and started the third one 'Perfect Match' and cant put it down.

  • Playing 'words with friends' on facebook...just like scrabble and a huge time waster waiting for your next turn.

  • Celebrity Apprentice Australia...I was drawn into it and then none of the other jobs got done.
Posting everyday has been harder than I thought at the start of the month. Sometimes you don't have much to say. I don't think I will keep it up after the 31st.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

October 23...

What a contrast in days.

Yesterday was overcast all day then at about 3pm the heavens opened and we had a dumping of rain with spectacular thunder and lightning. At Melton they had hail as well, we managed to miss that but had flooding all over the backyard.

This morning the sky was clear blue and it was warm. Perfect for a ride.

I took these photos as we sped along. Its not easy. I need to take off one of my gloves, take the camera carefully out of my jacket pocket, hold the glove in my left hand while I stick out my arm and try to snap away. Today I tried to get a self portrait of the both of us but it was more effort  than I could manage (just think how it would feel if you stuck your arm out of the car window at 80kms/hr, the buffetting is surprising. I prefer to be tucked in behind the Boy Racer)

Once I have finished snapping I have to put the camera back in my pocket and put my glove back on whilst being safe and stable at the same time. I have no idea if any of the pics turn out until we are off the bike and the chance has passed.

We ended up at the local cafe for a coffee at the end of the ride and I asked BR to smile for me,

the bug catcher is a must with an open face helmet
 I can tell he is smiling because of the pose.

I love weather like today. Don't need to run the heater or the air con to be comfortable, that's a money saver. Don't need to run the dryer or the electric blanket. The drawback was that by the time I went for my run it was pretty sunny and warm and I got very red faced and hot. Just 1 week left til the Lara Fun Run and I need to get the last training laps in. The forecast for that day at this point is showery and mild but I will probably still be red faced at the finish line.

Its been a good day.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

October 22...

Today I got quite lost in the past leafing through Callum's photo albums. I can hardly recognise the baby that he was.

He was a cuddly, snuggly baby. So very cute and time consuming. As he grew up he tested us in ways that Hayley had never done. We had to put up barricades and locks on things that Hayley had never dared to touch. She knew no meant no, Callum on the hand was wilfull and determined. His language was much slower to come than Hayleys and while it was difficult not to compare 1st borns with 2nd, and girls with boys it did come in his own time. I wonder if this delay added to his frustration which would manifest itself in some lashing out at other children. Playgroup was never a relaxing time for me.

Callum never enjoyed school and tried many sports and activities including the trumpet, which he was quite good at, but never settled on any one thing until he took up the guitar. I've been a spectator at Aus Kick, Roo Ball, Milo Cricket, swimming, karate and tennis.

He split his chin open twice as a toddler and once as a drunken teenager, but had very few injuries or sickness. When he had his tonsils out he sat up soon out of Recovery and downed some sandwiches because his hunger was worse than the pain in his throat.

His lack of interest in school has somewhat diminished his choices out in the workforce, he is yet to find his niche in the world. My hope for him is that he can find something he enjoys so he can go far.

The main thing that struck me was how my scrapping has evolved. His was the first album I put together and it is very influenced by the Creative Memories style that we were first introduced to. Some of it makes me cringe but there is little I would change now. It is still a pleasure to thumb through the pages and remembering his childhood. That was the aim of the album and I have achieved that.

*We never imagined when we named him Callum that his friends would end up calling him Calzo.

Friday, October 21, 2011

October 21..

The 21st is a special day in our household. This is the day of Callum's birth. 20 years ago our only son was born in a rush and a gush.

My second pregnancy had been much like the first, pretty smooth sailing with only minor irritations. I was working nights at RCH and Chris was working for the railways as a Transit Patrol Officer.We were living in Avondale Heights in a rental house and Hayley was a delightful 3yo.

Callum was due on the 24th October but on the night of the 20th as I was getting up off the couch to go to bed at about 1030pm I felt a little pop and my waters broke. No pain and no sense of urgency I rang a girlfriend to check what to do (?) and then rang my mum. We took Hayley down to her place and then proceded to Essendon Hospital. I still hadn't felt any contractions but we were admitted into a labour/delivery room. Once things did get moving it all happened really quickly. I seemed to go straight from that first contraction to wanting to push. I remember the midwife admonishing me for still having my underwear on, I had gone in with leaky waters so wasn't going without thank you.

Callum was born at 0237 on the morning of 21st October in a precipitous labour.  Precipitous labour is one that lasts less than 3 hours and while it might sound great to have it over all so quickly it can be intensely painful, a bit out of control and end up with uterine or perineal damage, more on that soon. As well as being a precipatous birth he was born 'en-caul'. This means he had the membranes over his face when he was born. The midwife cleared it so he could take his first breath. Babies born with the caul are meant to be good swimmers & sailors, it was considered an omen that the child was destined for greatness. Cal is not a great swimmer, has not joined the navy and is yet to find his greatness.

Soon after his birth it became apparent that the placenta would not separate despite the best efforts of midwives and the doctor so I needed a quick GA and manual removal. That too was organised lickety split and soon enough I was opening my eyes to see my newborn son.

We named him Callum John because we liked the name and it was a compromise between Liam and Cameron. John was for my Dad who never got to see any of his grandchildren (and was to have 3 grandsons honour him in this way). He weighed a perfect 7lb 8oz and was the perfect addition to our little family.

Amazing how fast 20 years goes by, sounds like a cliche but so true. Now this little baby is a grown man playing very loud music out in the back shed celebrating the day of his birth.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

October 20...

This arrived in the letterbox today

 Opening it revealed a scroll

which was in fact....

an invitation to a Tim Burton themed 21st. Very clever!

have you seen The Corpse Bride? , one of my favourite Tim Burton films

Hayley wants to go as Lydia from Beetlejuice

Should be a fun party if the effort gone into the invitations is any indication.

Some people have too much time on their hands.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

October 19...

So now I am up to date and just going to quickly show you an impulse buy.

Have you tried these?

Our verdict was that the salty sweet chocolately treat was OK, a bit weird, not unpleasant but not quite right.

We wont be needing to get those again. You never know til you give it go.

October 18...

Many things were working against me that stopped my run of daily posting for October.

Firstly we had a very busy day at work.

Then I put in a run on what was a very hot afternoon, I thought my foofa valve was going to blow, and it took several hours for the red to leave my face.

Next I made a meal for the family including Cal's girlfriend.

I then settled down to read my favourite blogs and some days not many have updated but yesterday was very newsy with lots to catch up on.

By the time I had watched 'The Real Housewives of NYC' the laptop had a little melt down and shut down unexpectedly. With children of all ages using the other computers I just went to bed.

So I will leave you with a pic of a tag found on a recent purchase of Chris'

What the?????

Monday, October 17, 2011

October 17...

I didn't notice til right now that I posted twice for the 15th of October, forgot about 16 until now. So I made the little adjustment and now I can move on.

Now for the 17th.

I swam 6 kilometres this morning and fiddled around for the rest of the day. I picked up the latest issue of Better Homes & Gardens and sat out in the garden in the sunshine sipping coffee and thinking about the Christmas baking and making I might do, there are some very appealing  things in this issue.

Amongst the usual fruit cakes and shortbreads there is cinnamon nut toffees, white hokey-pokey truffles, and sugared twists to try.

I also want to make some of the felt ornaments
I might be able to run the felt through the cuttlebug to cut out some of these christmassy shapes.

These are not  from the magazine but are very similar and pretty cute as well
Some food for thought, with just a little motivation I'll be set.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

October 16...

I had to go to work today for a couple of hours to present at a study day. There are no dialysis patients in on a Sunday so all the staff get paid for the day and lots of education, competencies and assessments get completed. Our management is supportive of measures like this even though our continuing professional development is a personal responsibility.

I've been a nurse now for 27 years. The first three were spent at the Alfred Hospital School of Nursing when training to be a nurse was more like an apprenticeship, learning on the job. And much like apprentices everywhere you start at the bottom (literally) and do all the jobs that no-one else wants to do. As you rose up the ranks to second and third year things started to improve. Study block and exams took you away from the wards for a while and out of hospital placements showed you things that lay beyond the wards. No more hospital based training nowadays, students are uni based and do clinical placements. I personally think it is a much better system, producing better educated nurses for our times.

I often hear from older nurses tales from 'back in my day'. Nursing has changed dramatically since those 'good ol days' and the pressures and expectations are very different. There is no comparing. Surgical wards had patients admitted the day before so often you had half the ward filled with well pre op independant people. After surgery a patient might have stayed for a week after relatively minor surgery. Not these days, as my brother in law will attest, even after a hip replacement you don't get a chance to lounge around, thats what home is for!

Here I am, quite off the track! This thought began tonight when Chris & I were discussing whether or not we would ever make a big move in life, like move interstate.  Chris would be a bit restricted in his employment but as a nurse I have the flexibility of being able to work pretty much anywhere. The only thing I would not like is to have to go back to shift work. After 27 years I have done my fair share and now have found a very nice position with work I enjoy, am good at* and it doesn't involve shifts. Shift work is for the newly graduated to negotiate around  (there are some things that the pecking order needs to remain in place for).

*I can confidently say I am good at my job because I just had my performance appraisal and independant sources confirm it!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

October 15...

Melbourne is famous for having four seasons in one day.

And we have had them all today.

Sunny when I went for a run this morning.

Warm & windy when I was hanging out the washing.

Now cold and raining.

Spring is evident everywhere in my garden except for one tree that will not bud. It was a bare rooted stick when I bought it and it still looks just like a bare stick. I've given it a good chance but I look at it every day and still no action. I am impatient for a shady tree to grow up in that spot and this is not encouraging, might be time for it to be replaced

Friday, October 14, 2011

October 14...

Random ramblings...

went for a swim this morning, helped ease out the sore back I woke up with. That pilates stretching last night did more than I thought. My back feels fine tonight.

spent the rest of the day cleaning up this messy house. I can't do 2 showers in one day, I'll do the other one tomorrow. I was able to use my newly fixed vac & it was nice to open up the windows on this warm, windy day.

Met with Ness for coffees at Baby Black, a very nice way to spend the afternoon, sitting in the courtyard, sipping lattes.

The neighbours have put their house up for sale, they have been very nice and quiet but I wont miss listening to their dog bark for hours on end. Tonight has been particularly bad, it has been barking for hours. Payback will be next Friday night when Callum has his party. We only have one party a year so it will be our turn to by noisy.

The girls have gone down to the cast party tonight to wind up the Beauty & the Beast season. And to find out what next years show will be. Hayley has just texted me to let me know the news.We had a bet on what they would announce but we were both wrong - there will be no show next year. Erin is more disapointed than Hayley is, I think Hayley would like a break but she may be part of the Grammar's school production next year instead.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

October 13...

Pilates vs Yoga

I had my first pilates session tonight. I've only ever done pilates before by following a video and whenever I do this I am left wondering 'is this the right way, am I doing it right?' By participating in a class you have the benefit of the instuctor picking you up when your plank isn't straight.

I didn't find it much different to the yoga classes I was doing. I thought pilates was a bit more aerobic than yoga but this particular class was very stretchy and not very pulse raising. Actually when I walked out I felt a bit nauseous and headache-ey. I am definitely not very flexible & I'm still not even close to touching my toes. I always thought that was because my leg muscles were tight but the instructor thinks my lower back is also stopping me.

When I used to finish a yoga class I would walk out & feel like I was 6 feet tall. I am hoping I will walk out of these pilates classes with rock hard abs.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October 12...

Did you know its 74 days til Christmas?

Yep only 74 days.

Yet today I could have bought a Christmas tree, some decorations and some fruit mince pies. I can't think about Christmas yet and don't need an Advent calender when we have the whole month of November to get through.

It needs to get hot first, we need to go to a few break ups (and then go back to work the next day). I have to attend a Christmas concert and stress out about what to buy/make/bake.

I have absolutely no idea what to buy anybody so some inspiration will come in handy, lucky I have a little bit of time.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October 11...

Looking back...

I started this blog in Oct 2008 it is interesting to see my progression as a blogger.
This is what I was up to in Oct 2009 involving a soccer game & visiting relatives
and last year in Oct 2010 I had an interesting time at the hairdresser

Whenever I go back to work from a holiday I am thinking of the next holiday. I was going to put in a leave form today but it was lucky I was too busy to do so because in the mail this afternoon was a confirmation of our caravan park site. It is for a different week than I thought! but I do think this will be better. Now to get our equipment organised.

Monday, October 10, 2011

October 10...

Happy Birthday to my sister-in-law and a get well to Chris' other sister who is sitting in hospital with a queried bowel obstruction. I know which sister I'd rather be.

Back to work today and I was sitting in a very cold office mostly reading emails. Tomorrow I'll be off my chair in to a fully booked clinic.

I'm posting these layouts that I finally popped into my album

This school girl was less than enthusiastic about going back to school today. They can wear summer uniform this term if they wish but as todays weather was going to be chilly it was stockings and kilt still. She told me she was one of very few in full uniform but did not regret her decision at all.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

October 9...

I completed week 6 of my 9 week running program. I've been slogging away again in readiness for the Lara Fun Run in 3 weeks time.

The C25K people recommend to run every 2nd day and some other form of exercise like walking or swimming on the other days. And this I have done.

Today was my 'hard walk'

up this hill

 and looking back after I have powered up this long incline (doesn't look as bad in these photos)

a quick wave to Leannes' alpacas at the bottom of the hill, turn the corner, back over the freeway

and I'm nearly home.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

October 8...

My technology...

I'm not the most savvy with all the technology but I'm doing my best. I don't have an iphone or an ipad but sit most nights with the lap top atop my lap. I try to update my own blog frequently and like to read posts of bloggers I follow.

Now I'm probably preaching to the converted but I have found a way to make this easier and I'll let you in on my method.

Firstly I subscribe to feeds. It looks like this

when a blog is updated it shows up in bold type and I can click on it and read the latest.

I also have an iGoogle page. I have added a few apps which include a birthday counter, weather updates and my Google reader.

It depends on the blog which way I read each of them. Sometimes you have to subscribe to the RSS feed, so it shows up in 'feeds'.

Or you can add it to your google reader. When that blog updates it shows up in the google reader and I can quickly read the updates I want.

This way I save time clicking on to all the blogs I want to read, wondering if there will be something new. My sister has such a blog that might be updated about every 6 months. I get a nice surprise when a post turns up in the reader. I used to have a long list in my favourites tab but I have been able to trim that right down.

It might take you a while to master the adding & reading part but it has been such a time saver for me. I say 'do yourself a favour' and give it a try.

Friday, October 7, 2011

October 7...

I was able to spend the day with my big Sister and do some scrapping today. The weather has been spring like for the past week but tonight I can hear thunder rumbling in the darkening sky. On the way home from her place the roads were wet and flooded in parts and our rain gauge showed 13 mls had fallen while we were out. It must have dumped down as everything is sodden.

Our clocks were reset to daylight savings time last Sunday morning (much muttering heard from hubby who changed all of them) and maybe because I have been on holidays with very relaxed days I have hardly noticed a change. I will appreciate the extra daylight when I come home from work now, I will be able to fit in a run or walk in the light of the evening.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

October 6 -baking...

I've had some time to bake during my holiday and have been browsing some new magazines.

I tagged some of the 55+ recipes to just about 10 things to try. Chris hates it when I cook out of cooking  mags or recipe books but I get tired of cooking the same things all the time and look for something new to try. If you don't try you don't know, do you?

These little chocolate meringues are a little different from the original recipe

but with some berry sauce they tasted delicious.

With the left over egg yolks I whipped up a batch of lemon butter, yet to be used but will probably go into my lemon slice.

From the same delicious magazine I tried the lamb meatballs on the family, not bad but it won't go into the 'favourites' book. Our Coles butcher has a large range of minces including lamb, pork, pork & veal and veal on its own. I have another recipe for veal & sage meatloaves which we will have soon.

I made some apricot tarts that I saw in a recent Better Homes & Gardens. I didn't follow the recipe exactly but they were really easy and tasted so good.

because I didn't follow the recipe mine didn't look like this picture but I will do them again. Easy to do at short notice if you keep puff pastry and tinned apricots on hand.
Another thing to try to is the chocolate salami, which sounds like it will nice on a cheese platter. I just have to find fresh Medjool dates to put in it.

I'm off to have a chocolate chip cookie with my coffee and find some photos to scrap tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

October 5...

It is amazing the things you come across when you are browsing the interwebs.

I came across this

a walking challenge!

Head over to the walktober website if you want to join in the fun. Luckily Hayley gave me a new pedometer for my birthday so I can accurately measure my distances. I would much rather go for a walk than go running but I am still going to count the distances covered either way, it's all about getting out & being active.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October 4...

A tale of hair.



And after

Erin has a fringe

Monday, October 3, 2011

October 3...

is my birthday! And I have had a lovely day.

High Tea at the Windsor

with one of my favourite girls

We were plied with teas, cakes & tiny pastries. We also had finger sandwiches & scones. Don't tell the Octsober people I had the glass of sparkling Rose'. How could I not? we were in for the whole decadent afternoon tea experience.

The green layered bite on the left tasted like peas and we later found out it was green tea and red bean, it wasn't my favourite. This chocolate and passionfruit bite with the gold leaf was.

Gary was our attentive server and kept us very content.