Sunday, July 29, 2007

Going up...

Yesterday, Steve, Jeff and I went to Main Range National Park, which is about an hour and a half outside Brisbane. We went bushwalking...a 12.4 km hike up and down a mountain. 6.2 km up and 6.2 km down. It was beautiful. Amazing view. Worth the trek to the top.

Steve having a peaceful, at one moment with nature...
The trees were quite big!
Jeff living the Tarzan dream. There were a lot of was pretty cool.
Left, right, left, right.

A very straight tree.
A very curly tree.
A very high view.

There was a forbidden area that of course, Steve and Jeff checked out. I was a little nervous to go in because, really...who knows what lives in there?! Anyway, on the way back down the mountain, I had to pee so bad that spiders and snakes be damned...I entered the forbidden area to was the only potential place to go...or hold it for 2 hours, which was not happening! I don't think I have ever peed so fast!
This is the fobidden was kind of like a cave. I didn't see anything crawly though, not that I'm complaining! Steve and Jeff saw a walaby, right on the walking path...I missed it because I was back a bit photographing a tree. Stupid tree. Anyway, I did see my first wild kangaroo, unfortunately, he was road kill....not sure if that counts....
What's in here............?

More pics...

There's a huge hole behind can see Jeff looking down. We dropped a rock down and didn't hear it hit for about 3 seconds. It was pretty deep and a little scary!
Creepy! I wonder if anything lives down there.............?

The cliffs really were sheer!

Taking a break about an hour from the top.

This was the final leg to the top. Got the heart pumping!
He's so big and strong...He eats his vegetables and spinach, kids!

Going down...

The walk down the mountain was much easier than the walk up...obviously. We ended up doing the whole hike in about 4 hours.
A "congratulations we made it to the top" kiss.
And still more view.
Taking a break before heading back to the car.
And one last picture of me at the top.

Driving Home

I was pretty pooped by the time we headed home but we freshened up and headed out for a well deserved dinner in Redcliff (about 30 mins. outside of Brisbane), where Steve did his race last weekend. We ate at a crab and steakhouse. Jeff and Vic joined us. The food was good and it was a cool atmosphere. You ordered your own food at a counter...there was a food dessert counter, but servers bring you your food and take your plates. The whole place was under a roof but open to the outdoors and there were heaps of bars surrounding the area, as well as a playground for kids. So, really the space suited everyone's needs.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Holy is it really July 25th?!?

Today is July 25th. I just realized the date and can't quite believe it. I had to actually count it on my fingers to make sure I wasn't wrong. 6 months today since we landed in Australia! That's half a year already! I honestly cannot believe how fast the last 6 months has gone! Crazy. Also, July 25th means that Steve and I have officially been together for 7 and a half years! Halfway through the "seven year itch" and still going strong...Pretty important day today, I'd say!

Root Canal...take 1...

I had my first root canal today. I was absolutely dreading going, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I imagined. At least, the pain wasn't. The cost, on the other hand, quite painful. Turns out that the specialist that I was referred to does a root canal, like mine (molar), over 3 visits, so I saw him today which cost $650 and I will need to go back in a month (Sept. 5th) and then another month after that, with each visit costing $675. Ouch. Poor Steve. I thought he might faint but he held up quite well. The dentist said that by the look of the tooth...the amount of inflammation and the fact that he had a hard time even finding the tooth's canals (which is weird), he thinks the tooth may have been fighting infection for a long time. Long as in, since the filing that is in there, first went in, which he thinks (and I agree), was probably about 10-15 years ago. He said that the dentist who put the filing in, even back then, placed the filing in a way that shows he was trying not to do more nerve damage. Having said that, he also thinks that living with the tooth being like that, could be a reason why I get headaches. Wouldn't it be nice if getting this tooth fixed, helped my headaches?! I had a pretty bad one after the root canal today but I think that was from all the drilling and pressure. The dentist said that I should expect it to be sore for a couple of days, just because he stirred up a lot of stuff in the tooth but after that it should start to feel much better. Better is good. Here's hoping...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Results from the race...

I got the results back from the race....
960 people took park in the 10km event.
The 1st place time was 32 minutes and 25 seconds, thats just a little over 3 minutes per km.
The last place time was 1 hour 53 minutes, thats about 11 minutes per km
And I placed 448th, with a time of 56 minutes and six seconds, thats about 1 km every 5 and half minutes ish.....


Monday, July 23, 2007

Cari's health update...take 1...

This may be of no interest to anyone reading this, but still I feel compelled to bore you with the details. In February I started seeing a Nutritionist/Naturopath, for the following reasons:
- Problems with digestion and tummy pain
- Chronic tiredness
- Headaches
- Neck and Back pain
...these were all the main ones and they'd been a problem for years but have progressively got much worse in the last 4 years.
Anyway, I had a whole wack of tests run in February, checking all my levels and had a blood test done to see what foods I was sensitive to. Turned out that I was very sensitive to dairy, wheat, soy and nuts. So, since that time, I have stopped eating any foods that have these things in them (I do enjoy the occasional treat from time to time), started taking supplements (vitamin B, calcium/magnesium/zinc, a good bacteria for the belly, vitamin C, a digestive enzyme and one called thyrosin, which is supposed to assist in thyroid issues). It sounds like a lot but slowly, as my levels reach optimal numbers, I will be able to decrease and then completely stop taking them. I have also been having regular acupuncture treatments on my neck, back and belly, and most recently have started drinking Chinese Herbs, twice a day for everything from digestion to circulation. I walk daily and have just finished my 4th yoga class, in hopes of strengthening my back and overall body. Having brought you all up-to-date, this is where I stand after having just got my first follow-up blood test results back.
- My overall blood levels have all improved, including my platelets, which have always, for as long as I can remember, never gone above 90 000. Normal is between 150 000 and 450 000. Mine are at 106 000, which is still low but actually good for me! This is progress people!
- My Vitamin B12 levels have gone from 370 to 850 (not exactly sure what those numbers mean, but it's a big improvement and explains why I'm not feeling as tired as I usually do).
- My calcium is still very low, which means that my body is still not absorbing the supplement the way it should. I was told this is probably because my digestion is still not 100%. Apparently, digestion makes a huge difference in how well your body absorbs iron and calcium...
- ...which brings me to my iron...still very low. It has actually gone up since last time, which means that all the red meat I have been eating has helped but it's still way too low. Last time my iron number was 25, this time it was at 35. The nutritionist says it should be at 80. Again, not sure what these numbers mean, but it's not great. I have to start taking an iron supplement, even though iron is hard on the tummy. The low iron is a good reason why I still feel tired.
- Finally, there are a bunch of thyroid numbers that they look at and unfortunately, my have actually got worse. The Naturopath says it is a sign of infection in the body or perhaps allergies or sensitivities.
So where do I go from here? I keep doing all that I've been doing and I have to go for a scope which I'm DREADING but it may help to get an idea of exactly what is going on with my tummy and digestion. I have also been referred to a rheumatologist, by my doctor, just to rule out anything more serious with my neck/back pain and headaches and there is a blood test that can be done that tests to see if you are sensitive to 96 different foods. I would like to get this done, as there may be something I'm eating, that bothers my tummy and I think it's good for me, so I'm eating it often. The test includes everything from green pepper to sesame.
After all that, I feel a little discouraged that the follow-up tests didn't show more improvement, but I have to remind myself that it is going to take time and even the little bit of improvement I've already noticed is WAY better than how I felt even 4 months ago. My goal coming here was to be feeling really healthy by the time I go back to visit Canada, and since that's still a couple of years away, I think it's realistic.
Whoa, it feels good to have all that out of my head and written down! Thanks to all of you who read the whole thing!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Jeff's Camera

Whenever I can I grab Jeff's camera and take lots of pictures, I love his camera, and it loves me. Here's some pics I took Saturday evening at Bribie Island.
I title the above pic "Pure Evil"
Here's Jeff.
Crazy Turkey!
Steve (pic happy) Dickinson


Well today was the Jetty to Jetty fun Walk/Run, I had an awesome time, it was a well run event and there was a great turn out (over 2000 people). I had 2 goals going into this event, first, finish the event, and second, do it within 56 minutes.
I met both my goals, with a finish time of 56:06 (8 minutes less then the last time I ran 10km). I felt good at the end, I kept a conservative pace for the first 5 km, then picked it up at the end. It was a looped course, so after the 5 km marker I knew what to expect for the rest of the run. I think I held back a little too much at the begining, but it was my first race on a route that I had never done before, so overall I'm really happy. I'm doing a 12 km race in 2 weeks, it's the annual Bridge to Brisbane race ( I'm really looking forward to it. 2 weeks after that I want to do the Viridian Noosa Half Marathon, I won't be doing the half Marathon, I'll stick to their 10 km event.

If you look closely at my shoe you can see a black thingie under the laces, that's the gizmo they used to track our time.

Me waiting for the event to begin, freezing my nads off.

Coming into the home stretch, feeling good.

After the run, having some melon and a drink of water.

My Wife

I love this picture of Cari, it's very natural and beautiful. I took this pic with Jeff's new Nikon SLR camera, I also love Jeff's camera.....

Steve (wants Jeff's camera) Dickinson

Saturday, July 21, 2007


I was going through some of our old pics and came across one of me sitting on the Mc Purdy's love seat just before we left for Australia (left pic). So I set up a similar pose on our sofa and got the wife to snap a pic (right pic). It's stuff like this that keeps me motivated. I look somewhat tanned in the right pic but I think it's the red wall making me look that way. Also, you might have noticed that in the right pic I'm not wearing my wedding band....don't get excited Stacey I'm still happily married.... I took it off to go to the beach (see pics below) It's way to loose on my finger now and if I swim with it, I'll loose it. It also likes to slip off when I run, so I'm just keeping it off until I'm done the race tomorrow.
Steve (sorry Stacey) Dickinson

Bribie Island Beach

Although it's been pretty chilly (Steve took the above pic of our computer screen, the other morning, when it was only 2 degrees...I could see my breath while I was putting on my makeup!), today was quite nice. We rented a car to go to Steve's race tomorrow and decided to take a quick trip to the beach, to let Jes have a good swim, and for us to get out of the city and breathe some nice ocean air. Jeff joined us on our little excursion. Here's a few pics...