Friday, September 19, 2014

The gift that keeps on giving

No I am not talking about something you can wrap up and hand to someone. In fact once you give it away , you will never have any idea who gets it. But rest assured  your gift will make a big a change in someones' life, maybe even save a life. Yes I am talking about giving blood.

 My husband (Mr G) has been a devout blood donor since he was 17. He has recruited many converts over the years and in fact, he gets really happy and excited about being a donor - he is like that. This week we read a shocking Face Book post from one of Mr G's oldest friends, and one of his converts. Our friend of over 25 years announced that he will no longer be able to continue being a blood donor as through blood screening - it was identified that he has blood cancer.

He also urged all his friends to continue donating blood or start.  Within hours Mr G has us booked in giving. The staff are fabulous and welcoming, it doesn't take long at all. Afterwards you get treated  with milkshakes and other goodies. Then you leave feeling super good.  So if you haven't done this, get your skates on and book in!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Glow little lantern

For many years our family has enjoyed a "cheap eat" dining out experience as a weekly treat. We started this when kid #1 was a bub. Our "go to" venue was usually on Victoria Street Richmond ( an inner Melbourne City suburb) which is dominated by Vietnamese businesses. 

When we started this "tradition", dubbed by our then toddler as "noonies", it was a super cheap eat - usually $15 for the 3 of us because kid #1 just shared noodles from our plates.  By shared, I mean covered himself with them, at the end of the meal Mr G would carry the little guy out into the street and shake him clean.  What a mess he made! But the proprietors would never bat an eye, but instead gush over our cute little guy enthusiastically.

Our family grew and we began to try out other restaurants, our kids grew so did their capacity to eat  more, inflation hit these usually cheap restaurants - prices increased and our cheap eat increased in $.  Nonetheless, the 5 can still has "noonies" for under $80.  We don't do it weekly anymore, but it still feels traditional when we do.

Our current fave restaurant is Ha Long Bay, where the decor is lovely with big photographic murals of rural Vietnam and these beautiful lanterns clustered in at the rear of the restaurant.  I love dining out in Victoria Street, the smells, the sights and regardless of what restaurant you patronise, you can count on a friendly, warm welcome.  If you are ever in our lovely city make sure you visit Victoria Street.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hey! Watch Fatty run!

"Hey watch fatty run!"
Those words are so etched in my mind even after all these years.
Some mean boy at primary school laughing at me, a chubby 8 year old running in the school athletics carnival.  Worse, the seeing the Assistant Principal (and yeah I am going to name and shame you old man!) Mr O'Neil laughing too. Oh the shame of it! I don't remember the boy's name, but I certainly remember my tears burning down my cheeks, red hot with humiliation.  My athletic prowess never really improved from there. I tried netball but that was a bit of a fizzer due to "mean girls" factor.  Little Athletics bombed out too. Even my own father couldn't hide his embarrassment as I galloped awkwardly through a running race  a minute after the gun went off ( they really should tell newbies about the starters pistol).  Then in grade 6 came the dreaded cross country - I came last out of the whole school. Again, as I crossed the finish line, aching with a stitch in my side  there was Mr O'Neils' mirth in my face.

So running is not something I ever considered doing. In fact exercise and me have never really embraced. I have probably been scared of the potential humiliation.  After having my third baby, some years ago,  I started playing netball and played for 5 years but there is always a mean girl isn't there?  Sure enough, my team, due to players coming and going was eventually taken over by mean girls and that was the end of that. Watching the "mean girl"  factor weed out the chubbier mums, I finally snapped - I just don't take that crap anymore so I told the main mean girl off  and walked off the court. 

About a year ago I started seeing a Personal Trainer and boy it has helped my confidence. One day we were training in the park and  I got there  a tad early and she was still with a client.  I joked I would warm up on the "treadmill" and off I jogged around the footy oval.

 One lap I ran, then two laps - it was incredible! I was running! It wasn't killing me! Inside me was this little girl singing " look at me!! I am running!!!
Look at me!
I CAN run!"
Yes, fatty was running.
I felt strong, I felt powerful.
Over the next few weeks I built up to 4 laps, then 5 , then 6 and then I was really sick of running in circles.  But then it occurred to me, on my bucket list, which is FULL of crazy shit - I had included  run a Fun Run.

Yes! I was going to run a fun run!
Immediately I searched for Fun Runs - I found the MS Fun Run 5km or 10 km. 10km?! Be serious. One of my oldest and dearest friends has MS so this was the one!

Mr G and me waiting for the race to begin. I was so worried I wouldn't finish it.

Checking out the starting point

In June this year I ran a 5km Fun Run. It was raining and muddy. I had to stop a few times. I finished in 38.4 minutes. I raised $600 for MS . I have never been so proud of myself ever.

I did it!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Taking Stock...about time too!

I am not even sure if anyone even drops by here! I have really been off the radar haven't I?  But that is okay, I have been getting on with lots of things. Reading books, making stuff and running! Yes Running!  It has been a while since I even felt like making something, but finally I feeling like crocheting and have even taken my new sewing machine out of the cupboard to make a costume for Miss M's school production.  Whilst my projects have been small or basic, it has felt good to see a pile of materials become something because of my hands.

Reading again has been a source of joy too. Over the last few years I saw my status of "avid reader" fall off to hardly reading one or two books a year. This year I started up a Book Club with a few friends, it quickly grew to 8 or 9.  I am truly enjoying it, meeting monthly discussing the style of writing, the plot and ideas that possibly lie behind it. It has spurred me back into reading and already my 2014 goal of reading 10 books has been surpassed.

In May I started the "Blog with Pip" course. I bombed almost immediately. I was so overwhelmed with the speed of social media posts and my lack of comprehension of techo stuff - I simply gave up.  Today,  saw of Facebook that I wasn't alone and a few other bloggers are giving it another crack. So, maybe I will too.

So  starting with taking stock of some good things this year.

Reading : Nicole Trope books on my Kindle

Enjoying: My gradual come back to being creative and seeking knowledge

Feeling Chuffed: that I read 3 books on the weekend

Cooking: a lot of pumpkin cheesy Mac for the kids

Frustrated: that I don't know how to paste pictures into my blog or have the tech skills to make it look good, that I know so little about technology. 

Happy: that Spring is here

Making:  baby pants for some new twins

Drinking: T2 Pumping Pomegranate Tisane, iced.

Wondering:  if I will ever lose weight.

Admiring: so many clever blog designs

Wishing: I could get motivated to match the speed of my ideas

Hoping : that my head will get straight and  clear and I can start learning new things on the computer

Pondering : another fun run. June saw me achieve 5km Fun Run. It is one of my greatest achievements.

Nervous: about finding permanent work. My contract is almost up and now I will need to look for more work. The climate does not feel good and I always start doubting my abilities when I am out of work.

Needing: more sleep. I have entered a new physiological phase in my life that is accompanied by night sweats, broken and restless sleep and a crazy cycle.

Concerned: by world news. The more I watch the news the more I feel panicked.

I will stop here as I am feeling unsure about where to go now.   I am feeling bothered that my photos and skills just don't have what it takes to create and interesting blog, so slowly, slowly catch a tiger. I think I might start experimenting with a few ideas and hopefully that may culminate into some pretty changes around this space. So thank you for popping in after all this time, so lovely to see you.

Miss P

Monday, May 5, 2014

Monday Me Day

Today I had a wonderful Monday.
I slept a wonderful deep sleep and awoke fresh.
I went for a 2.5km run and then went to my Personal Training Session ( what?! You say. "you are RUNNING" - Yup, and I will post about that later).

I came home and started to prepare for meeting a pal for coffee, that's when "it" erupted.
A cluster of cold sores.
I immediately sent a text taking a rain check for coffee.
Luck would have it, the zovirax actually was where I thought it would be!
Surely this was a sign?
I had been so good and this was my reward.
This called for some celebration whilst the magic cream did its work.
I snuggled down for a relaxing afternoon, sewing in ends of a crocheted rug I am making and sipping spicy chai.
There was a cheesy midday movie to watch (yay),  it was raining outside, but warm and safe inside.
What a wonderfully simple day. I took in every moment of it and feel so good.

How was your Monday?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

A picture Paints a thousand words and sometimes sends you screaming!

It has been a while since I blogged,  probably the biggest break I have had since I started this little blog way back.  You see I have been a bit "blah" about blogging, my mojo seemed to up and go.  I haven't really crafted much either and not understanding how to upload my photos from my new phone (which is the main camera I seem to use lately) has really reduced post fodder.

I have however, been actively embracing change in my own life. You might recall I went to Perth in the summer. A trip that gave me a wonderful opportunity to meet up with one of my favourite bloggers Bronwyn from Taylor Made.  We caught up at a local cafe in Mandurah, along with me I took my eccentric MIL who entertained us with her crazy stories.  It was a lovely day, we went from virtual friends to real life friends and of course, as bloggers do - we took photos. 

And you know how they say a picture paints a thousand words?  Well Bronwyn looked beautiful but who was the blimp next to her? Holy snapping turtles!!!! It was ME! The picture screamed  at me  "HEY FATTY BOOM STICKS"!!!! OMG!!

It certainly put a rocket under me and I have taken on a new attitude to living.   Hooley dooley, how the hell did I get this fat? 

Well let me tell you how.  It all comes down to not looking after my mental health.  I have blogged about my anxiety disorder in the past, so some readers might be familiar with this GAD (generalised anxiety disorder). Ironically, I am a mental health worker who works with folk in their recovery.

So the time had come for me to walk my own talk.
My mental health is very driven by hormonal swings, PMS (hide the ice picks) is just awful, pregnancy and post birth ugh!  But now I am in a peri -menopausal phase and it SUCKS like nothing else has sucked before!

Not long before this photo, I had a spate of panic attacks - one was so severe that I raced to my GP at 8.30am thinking I was having a heart attack. Stupidly, I mistook it for a panic attack.  I got over it and went along with business, just dealing with the swings as they rose and dipped.  This photo came along and then, only then through the tears and sobs did I finally admit I was really really miserable. It was time for action and big change.

So here I am, a little down the track and feeling the change kick in.  I won't bombard you all with a HUGE post of my changes, I'll save that for the coming weeks.  I will say though, that old expression "scales fall from my eyes" - indeedy! I have never felt so good in my life, things look so different.

So about that blogging mojo? I am going to start a course with Pip so I am hoping to learn some new things about blogging to spruce up my style and move on into the wave of blogging. So, I am back friends and looking forward to connecting and sharing some more.

Miss P xx