Thursday, August 30, 2007

Jesse strikes again

Steve and I went out for dinner tonight. I fed Jes before leaving to meet Steve. Jesse decided to help himself to dessert, while we were out. He feasted on my amazing, fairly expensive handcream from the health food store. This pic shows all that was left by the time we got home. Hopefully this digests as well as the handcreams, makeup, pantyhose and deoderants that he's eaten before, because we have yet to find a vet...

"Crazy as the birds"...

...that is an expression, right? I didn't just make it up because I have it in my head that birds are crazy?? Well, if that is in fact an expression, then I'm sure it came to be, after meeting this funny looking bird in it's native habitat. Steve and I have started walking around the park and doing some exercises in the park before work in the morning. The path we take goes past this bird and his mate. The other morning, I had my camera with me, so I decided to get a picture. No joke, the bird started hissing at me and making this really deep growl noise! Who knew birds hissed and growled?! Well, not me. I was literally like..."Is that the bird making that noise?!" Needless to say, I backed off pretty quickly. So, the next couple of times we saw them, we stayed clear, but felt their eyes burning into us, as we passed. As Steve pointed out, they are obviously protecting a nest in that area, since they are always in the same spot and so on guard. So, a couple of days ago, we're walking by and the bird runs in the opposite direction, into the woods. So, Steve and Jesse started to cut through the grass, while I ventured off a bit to the side. I then hear Steve yell..."Whoa! Come Jesse!" and I look back to see Steve and Jesse running, with this bird chasing them! He darted out of the woods and went right at them! It was nuts! They can move fast! Then this morning, we were on our usual walk and we were coming up on the "nesting zone" and we actually had a woman stop and warn us to be careful of them! So, it's not just us...these birds are getting quite the reputation in the park! I'm actually a little scared to pass, but really there is no other choice. It was a pretty stupid choice of location for a nest, if you ask me! They could have chosen a more secluded area! You should see the way they watch you when you walk past. It's creepy. They are just waiting. I swear this morning one of them squeaked, "Bring it!", while it looked right at me!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

So, I did it. I registered and paid for the scuba diving course. I will take it the first 2 weekends in October. I'm a little nervous about it. Not really sure why. The guy said that it's impossible to fail because they work with you until you can do everything. The only way to fail is if you give up. So, I should be okay. I think the fact that I'm nervous has actually been what's motivated me to take it. I always avoid doing things that make me nervous. I need to break the habit. Think outside the box! I go to get fitted for my wetsuit on Saturday and pick up my Padi package, which includes the DVD that I have to watch and I think something that I have to read. I'm excited about the idea of trying something new. I have a long list of things I want to try and I figure Australia is a great place to start checking things off my list! Oh and here's a random picture of Jesse...just cause!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Scuba 101

This morning, bright and early, Steve and I headed to Bulimba's Pro Dive Shop where I did a trial dive was about 2 1/2 hours long and involved watching a short DVD, teaching of the basic skills and pool time. It was free and is basically there to give you an idea of if diving is something you want to, before you pay all the money to take the course and buy the equipment. Like most things I seem to do in my life, I totally found myself over-thinking everything and didn't really let myself relax. I think that will come with time though. There's a lot to remember at first and it is a little scary to be under water, breathing through your mouth (well with a regulator, but still!). I also think I expected myself to do everything perfectly on the first try, which didn't happen, but again, I think if I can stop being such a perfectionist for 2 minutes and realize that the more I do it, the easier it'll be, then I might actually enjoy it. It is a pretty cool experience to be floating and breathing under water, and I can only imagine how great it would be, doing just that at the Great Barrier Reef. So, I think I will register for the offical course and get my certification. I think I will regret it if I don't, especially when Steve and Jeff (who just got his) go out on dive trips and come back and tell me about all the great things that they saw! Here's a few pics that Steve snapped, while I was concentrating on not holding my breath! Which, by the way is harder than you think when you're under water and used to doing just that!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'm dreaming of...

It's raining. It's been raining all week. Very heavy rain, in fact, which is great, because as every Aussie will gladly tell you, time and time again..."We need it." I'm really enjoying it. I have come to realize that I love rainy days. However, what I'm not loving quite so much is that the fact that our house is very chilly and very damp. The towels that we hang in the bathroom after our shower each morning, are still wet at night, when we go to bed. For those of you who have ever camped in the know that feeling of being inside a tent, with the rain falling down all around you, everything is wet and damp feeling, including your bones? Well, that how we've felt in our house all week! Just one more reason why heaters built in homes is a marvelous creation! For now, I'll crawl into my bed, pre-heated with a hot water bottle and listen to the rain hitting the roof, dreaming of the days when I could walk to the wonderful thermostat on the wall....turn the knob, hear the heat switch on, smell the heat in the room...ahhhhh....those were good times indeed...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Our first spider encounter...

Wednesday night, I was getting ready to go over to Kate's house to hang out, when I heard Steve yell that there was a big spider in our cupboard, in the living room. So, me thinking with my Canadian brain, instantly imagined a big daddy long legs spider. I went to see what all the fuss was about and to my horror, saw a HUGE black, hairy legged spider, just hanging out. This pic doesn't show it's size, but it was just a bit smaller than a tarantula that you would see in a pet store! This is actually small for this type of spider, which we have been told can grow as big as a dinner plate! I immediately put Steve in charge of dealing with it and removing it from our house! So, with broom in hand, Steve attempted to crush it. The only REALLY jumped and HISSED! A guy at Steve's work told him that they can actually jump so well, that they can catch flying cockroaches in mid-air! According to the Aussies, they aren't poisonous but still hurt quite badly if they bite. Anyway, once Steve missed the spider, he disappeared! For those of you who don't know about my crazy spider dreams, let me fill you in....I have always had nightmares about spiders...nightmares that usually involve sleep screaming and walking. I told Steve that he had to find it or I would never sleep well again! At that point, I went to Kate and Morgan's place, leaving Steve alone with the beast....
...Upon my arrival home, I found our lovely fireplace, covered in a garbage bag and taped shut, with a book holding it down. Steve said the spider ran in there and so, he wasn't taking any chances! I wasn't complaining. It looks terrible, but I'm okay with idea. Definitely helps me to sleep at night! Hopefully, we don't have many more of those visitors!

Happy Birthday Pandemic Brisbane!

Steve's company (Pandemic Studios) celebrated their 7th birthday last night. They held a nice dinner at a golf course outside the city. I think everyone enjoyed themselves. Here's a few photos from the evening... Steve cleans up well;)
Me in my $30 dress! I was very proud of this purchase. It was a $160 dress on sale for $30 because the dress shop was closing down! Yippee for deals!

Me and You-Nay.
You-Nay and Adam.
Me and Kate. Partners in crime.
Kate and Morgan.

Vic, looking very handsome.

You-Nay, Trish and Kate.
Pandemic ladies.

Kate showing everyone what a dance floor is used for!
Steve and his art director, Shawn.
Me and Brianna being silly.
Jeff, enjoying his meal.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

No Ekka for you!

So, I'm pretty sure we weren't meant to go to Ekka this year. We had been planning to go last Saturday, but then we didn't feel well enough to make it and then we were planning to go today and it rained. Rain. It never rains. We are in drought. And, the one day that we want to do something that you can't actually do in the rains. Go figure. Hopefully, we'll have more luck next year!
Anyway, Steve, me, Jeff and Vic decided on lunch out at a place called the Breakfast Creek Hotel. Good food, cool atmosphere. I enjoyed it. Forgot the camera, so no pics today.
We then did a little shopping. I was planning to buy makeup from MAC, one of my favorite places to get makeup but....well, let me tell you a little story...
I ask the girl working at MAC if she can give me a hand choosing an eyeshadow color. Usually, at least from my experiences in Canada, they totally make you you how to apply it, etc...making it worth the $40 you pay for one eyeshadow. Anyway, so I ask her for help and she says..."No. I can't help you. We don't have the staff today." That was it. No apologies. Nothing. So, I walked across the way to Estee Lauder, where a lovely lady helped me and pretty much did my entire makeup, even showing me a sexy way to do my eyes for special events. I left happy, with an overly priced eyeshadow. Not sure I'll be going back to least not that one! Holy crappy customer service!
It's now 5:13 and I'm eating left-over soup and heading off to yoga. Steve's in bed. Poor baby. He's still not feeling well. He's having a really hard time getting over this bug he has. You know it's bad when Steve comes home, takes pills and goes to sleep:( I hope he feels better soon!

Ekka Show Day = No work for us!

Yeah for public holidays! We have one here today...Ekka Show Day. Basically, we actually get a day off to go to the fair. A little crazy to me, but I won't complain! It's a beautiful day here too. The days have been warm lately. Makes me realize how hot the summer is going to be! The average temps right now are mid-twenties, with lots of sun. And that's still winter! Even the mornings and evenings are slowly getting warmer. Still a bit chilly, but not cold. Anyway, Steve's still sleeping, Jesse is outside, probably eating something he shouldn't (he literally pooped dirt the other day...nothing else...just a big pile of dirt!) and I'm off to make blueberry buckwheat pancakes. I think we're heading to the Ekka show later this afternoon, so hopefully I'll have some pics to post tonight!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Presents From The Purdy's!!

Well I came home from a long day of making video games to a surprise. My birthday present from the Purdy's had arrived!!
Cool wrapping....
What could it be....what could it be...
Its like they read my mind.....some Just For Men (or in french "Pour Homme Seulement"), Man Diapers (Manpers), and old guy glasses.....You can't buy friends like these!

My glasses and a Manper stuck to my shirt
Me pondering what I should do with the other Manpers
I know! I'll stick them on the dogs head...
Oh, and there was this nice shirt in the box also, it fit perfect.... If I were any more cool,
I'd freeze!
Thanks McPurdy's!
Miss you guys.
Steve (Manper, I hardly know her) Dickinson

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Tis the season...

...for colds and flus in Australia, and everyone is sick! We were planning to have a BBQ last night, with about 8 people and then go to Ekka, which is basically, a large Brisbane version of the Bridgewater (where I'm originally from) exhibition. A big carnival, complete with "fairy floss", or as we Canadians call it, "cotton candy". Anyway, everyone ended up sick and the BBQ turned into a quiet dinner with just Steve, myself, Morgan and Kate. Even Kate was under the weather with a bad back, and Steve and I had been feeling like we were fighting something off for the whole day, so it worked out really well, as a nice dinner and an early bedtime was just what we all needed! We're hoping to go to Ekka on Wednesday, as it's a holiday here.
Jesse wanting in on the munchies...

Anyway, it's now Sunday and Steve and I are both feeling pretty crappy. He's sick and I'm feeling like I'm trying really hard not to get sick. Super tired and just not 100%. This is pretty much what we've done all day, except for the 2 hours when we actually napped...

...I think even Jes is feelin' it! Lazy Sunday, indeed.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Baby Pictures!!

Got some pictures of the newest Dickinson in the family. Above, Grandma Dickinson holding little Aidan. Dad, Grandma and Aidan
Aidan John Dickinson
Dad, Mom and baby
Uncle Steve Dickinson

Holy crap I'm under 200!

This morning when I waddled onto the scale I was greeted with a number that I haven't seen since I was in highschool.... This is a bigger milestone for me then when I turned 30. To date I have lost 24.5 pounds since coming to Australia. None of my clothes fit me, except one pair of new jeans and a handful of shirts. I'm going to wait a little longer until I buy new ones, maybe around the 190 mark. I'm going to celebrate with a 7km run at lunch and a couple of pints of microbrew tonight at a pub just up the street from us.

Steve ( half the man he was ) Dickinson

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Stolen Moments...

Here's a few pics that Brianna and Adam took, at Brianna's birthday, awhile back. I think they turned out cool, so I thought I'd steal them and share..

Thanks for the pics, Brianna!

Congratulations John and Skye!

Welcome Aidan! We want to send out lots of love and a big congratulations to Steve's brother, John and his girlfriend, Skye, on the birth of their son, Aidan John Dickinson. We've got some of the scoop of how they're doing from Steve's mom and apparently Skye and baby are both doing well and are already home from the hospital! We're so happy for you guys and can't wait to see pictures! It'll be nice to have a little Dickinson bummin' around! :)

Monday, August 06, 2007

A crappy day but a better evening...

So, just before I head to bed, I'll write a quick post for all of you reading this first thing in the morning. I'm feeling better and much more optimistic this evening. Steve made me feel 100% better. He totally listened to me vent, made me laugh, suggested we order Thai food (my favorite!) and after a good walk together, with Jes, I realize that it's just a little bump in the road and that I can just continue doing what I've been doing, until I can get all the stuff that I need done, done. If everything that happens in life happens to teach us something and make us better people, then I suppose that this is going to teach me to be patient (something I do need more of!) and that everything will sort itself in due time...

A crappy day...

I feel very discouraged today. I also feel very homesick. Basically, it's been a pretty crappy day.
I feel discouraged because, I found out that our health fund only covers procedures like what I need to have done, after you have been with them for a whole year. That means, I can't get any of the stuff that I need done for at least another 6 months. It's discouraging because I'm working so hard at staying positive about my health stuff and trying to get it all sorted out. I feel like I take one step forward and then get knocked back 2 steps. So, the plan of getting everything done and behind me is out the window and I'm back to not really knowing what the problem is and just trying to find ways to deal with it on my own from day to day. I am trying to take control of things, but all this means that it's back to being out of my hands for a few more months.
I feel homesick because I'm not used to medical stuff being such an ordeal. In Canada, you need something done, you book it, you go. Done. It's hard being the immigrant...the one in the country who doesn't have all the benefits, like everyone else. I'm not used to being on that end of things. I'm not used to having a bill come in the mail, charging me for the blood test that I went for, or having to pay to have a standard doctor appointment. We don't have medicare cards here, unless we become permanent residents. Our private health fund covers some things, but only 80%. I'm also homesick, because I feel like crap and would LOVE to call someone to chat, but everyone is sleeping in Canada.
Some days, you just really feel like you live on the other side of the world...

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Sunday at the market...

Today, Steve and I went to the market that's downtown on the water front. I think this is one of my favorite things about Brisbane...all the outdoor markets that they have. I love the feeling of strolling around, hearing the music that people are playing/making, buying local, handmade treasures from talented artisans. Ah, it was a nice end to a relaxing weekend.
I bought a necklace and matching earrings to go with a dress I recently bought. The couple selling the handmade jewelery were so nice! We talked a lot about Canada. They have been there several times and have a good friend who lives in Vancouver.
The sky was so blue today. There was still a chill in the air, but the days have definitely been warming up.