Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I have a new job! I am going to be an Assistant Coordinator for an after school program. I have been really wanting to use my degree again (considering the student loan payments, I think I should at least be working in the field!!!) and I'm excited about this opportunity! I think it'll be a good job to get on my resume and hopefully benefit me down the road. I don't start until my birthday, so still a couple of weeks away, but I am going to a staff meeting this Friday, so I'll meet everyone there. I was a little sad to tell my current boss about leaving, but she understood and hopefully, we'll keep in touch. The clinic has been the perfect job for my first year in Australia, but now that I am feeling more settled, I am ready to have something a bit more challenging. My new job will include a lot of admin duties, helping to oversee 20 staff members and I'll be part of the program planning and all the fun stuff that makes the centre a good place for staff and kids. It's all school aged children between the ages of 5 and 12 yrs, which I think will be awesome! I think it's going to be a lot of fun!

Monday, April 28, 2008

A long weekend here in Oz...

We've been busy! We went to Noosa on Friday, Seaworld on Saturday and did some shopping yesterday and a small BBQ at our house last night. I have heaps of pictures to post but not a lot of time to do it, so stay tuned for all the details of Seaworld. Can I just say that I would love to be a dolphin trainer?? How awesome would that be???!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Random Pics

Here's a few random photos of the things we've seen and done over the last few days with Steve's Mom...
Jesse likes to stay close to Debbie. He sleeps with her at night. He's totally abandoned us.
Beach shot.
I'm definitely in the middle of saying something in this pic!
I've become obsessed with sewing bags! It's so much fun! I'm going to have a bazillion different bags by the time I'm through, I'm sure. This is what Jesse decides to do whenever I put my fabric down to cut it. Never fails. Lays right in the middle of what I'm doing.
A real ibis and a fake elephant.
Brisbane river.
A very wide tree and Steve.
This water dragon is missing his right leg...poor thing.
It's a long weekend this weekend here (Anzac Day), so we have lots planned and I'm really looking forward to it!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ok, can I just say...

...I freakin' LOVE rockclimbing?!!! I love, loved the class tonight! I am so glad that I took it! There are 7 of us in the class, 6 girls and 1 guy, plus the instructor and everyone is SO friendly and fun. The rockclimbing itself is challenging (much harder than it looks from the ground!) but I can totally see how you would get addicted to the goal of accomplishing harder and higher climbs. I was pretty proud of what I did on my first night...I made it about 3/4 of the way to the top. It's a serious workout!! I am definitely going to be very sore tomorrow but I think it's going to be an awesome way to build muscle and get stronger. Plus, I'm sure the climbing itself gets easier as you get stronger. I'm sure I used muscles tonight that I didn't even know I had! Anyway, overall...yup, loved it, can't wait for next week!!

Quick Update

I haven't had a lot of chance to post lately, but I thought I'd share a quick little update. We had a good first weekend with Steve's Mom. Saturday we went to Southbank and checked out the market and had lunch. We walked home through the city, went to the Botanical gardens and checked out the large downtown shopping centre. A full day of walking and touring the city! On Sunday, we went to Steve's 1/2 marathon and then spent the afternoon with Jesse at Shelly beach. Yesterday, I worked but Steve had the day off and he and his Mom went to Lone Pine, the Koala Sanctuary and saw creatures of all kinds. They both really enjoyed it. When we're not out exploring, we're cooking and eating yummy meals and catching up. It's been nice. I have a few photos to post from the weekend, just as soon as I get the time. I start a rock climbing course tonight, which goes from 6 to 9 pm, so it probably won't get done today! I'm looking forward to the course. There's an amazing outdoor rock climbing place here, right by the Brisbane river and I've been wanting to try it since we moved here. I have also been wanting to join something to meet some more people and get in shape, so rock climbing seemed like the perfect thing! The course goes for 6 weeks and is every Tuesday night for 3 hours. They teach you everything you need to know to rock climb on your own, so if I like it, I'm hoping Steve and I will be able to make it a new hobby...seems like a fun way to get in shape while having fun! I'm sure I'll be sore tomorrow though!! I'll let you know how it goes! That wee little picture is a pic I took off the website of the climbing place. It shows you where we'll be doing the course. I just love the idea of rock climbing outside! The view from there is pretty spectacular as well, so I'll try to get some of my own pics over the next few weeks!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Still needing some sponsors...

Please don't think I'm a total nag but just in case you missed it awhile ago when I posted, Jesse and I are doing a walk to raise money for the RSPCA on May 18th and we need sponsors!!! If you're interested just go to and you can use your credit card to sponsor us. Thanks SO much to those of you who have already sponsored us, I really appreciate it!:)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Brisbane Marathon ( I did the 1/2 marathon - 21km)

The alarm went off at 4 am this morning, I was already awake. I got out of bed and ate half a bagel, toped with strawberry cream cheese, a bananna, some OJ and a little water. Mom woke up when I was eating, around 4:20 am, and at 4:30 I went in to wake Cari up. Most of you know that Cari likes her sleep, so waking her up at 4:30am on a Sunday morning is kind of like poking a hornets nest. Thankfully, she wasn't to took a couple of minutes but she finally got up. At 5am we got in the car and headed to South Bank. The morning was a little cool but nice, perfect 1/2 marathon weather. South Bank was already busy with people when we arrived, the run this year was their biggest yet with around 2000 runners. I posted a couple days earlier that my goal was to finish within 2 hours but expected to finish around the 2 hr 10 minute mark. I ended up with a time of 1hr 51 minutes and 45 seconds!!!! My average pace was 5 minute 9 seconds a km... I actually ran a really relaxed race, I never felt wasted and I finished with a nice sprint. I'm really looking forward to the Gold Coast Marathon, again I'll be entering the 1/2 Marathon and this time I'd like to be around the 1hr 45 minute mark.

I have to run how far? I've never run 21km before!
My support crew at 5:30 in the morning...
Me before the race....
Me during the race....look for the red hat blur.
And finially me crossing the finish line. It started to rain about 1km from the end so I'm a little wet from the rain. The race clock behind me says 1hr 53 minutes and 31 seconds, but my time was actually 1hr 51 minutes and 45 seconds...

Friday, April 18, 2008


Steve's Mom arrived this morning safe and sound. She had a looooong flight but made it without feeling too worn out. Hopefully, she can adjust to the time change quickly! It's really nice having her here. I just love having visitors! Jesse was pretty excited too! Hopefully, Steve's Mom will just be the first of many guests to come visit...hint hint!! I'm looking forward to the weekend. We're not too sure what the plans are yet...we're going to wait and see how Debbie feels and Steve has his 1/2 marathon on Sunday, so we'll be up bright and early for that! The life of an athlete's wife!;) Hope everyone has a nice weekend!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

3 Days Untill......

My first 1/2 Marathon.....(21km) I'm hoping to finish within 2 hours, but I think a more likely time would be around 2 hrs 10 minutes. As always I'll be happy with whatever time I finish with.... I've been running a lot more the last 2 months, also the distance of the runs has increased. 6.5 km used to be my long run and 5km was my short normal run. Now my short run is 8km and my long runs will range between 12 and 18km (I do the long runs on weekends) A monthly km total used to be around 60 or 70km, now its around 120 to 140km. I've noticed a huge increase in my ability to run harder for longer and my recover time has become a lot shorter. On the flip side I've had a couple minor injuries because of the increased amount of running.
My weight is starting to drop again, I weighed in at 186 pounds on Wed, a new low. Only 6 pounds left to reach my 180 pound goal. I'm hoping to reach that by my birthday in June. That will give me a grand total of 44 pounds lost since I got to Brisbane (I arrived here weighing 224 pounds) Also, my mom will be here for the race so it will be nice to have someone else cheering me on.

Steve (pulled groin) Dickinson

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A little bit of what we've been busy doing...

A little of this...
...a little of that... know, bits and bobs...
Hopefully we'll be posting finished projects soon!

Keeping Busy

I'm not sure what seems to keep us so busy, but time seems to be flying!!! I find it impossible to believe that it's the middle of April already! Steve's Mom is coming to visit us this week! She arrives on Friday and it seems like just yesterday that she was talking about coming and it was still months away! We're really looking forward to her visit and have lots of fun things planned! In the meantime, before she gets here, Steve and I have been doing a few projects around the house. We're refinishing the table and chair set that we have and also fixing up some chairs that we found on the curb. It's fun but I'm impatient and just want everything done and perfectly placed in the house already! I've learned that I love working on things but prefer the things I work on to be day projects...I just don't have the patience to wait weeks for something to be done! Steve says that I have learn to appreciate the process more than the outcome. Okay, maybe but.......I'm not sure how well I'd do a renovating a whole house! I took some pictures of the projects in action, so I'll post those soon. Hopefully, not too much longer and we'll at least have the table finished!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Shelly Beach

Yesterday Steve and I took a drive to Shelly Beach. It was a beautiful day and when we got to the beach, the tide was out and you could walk all along the rocks on one section of the beach (kind of like Peggy's Cove). There were lots of little pools with cool shells, fish and coral in them. We walked and explored for quite awhile and then found a spot where we plopped and had a picnic lunch. It was a really nice day, just what I needed after a few crappy days!

We went to Rej and Clo's for dinner and a movie after the beach. It was a lovely meal, as always and the movie was fun! They have a projector that makes it feel like you're at a little mini theatre. Steve wants one now! I have to admit, it would be fun to have one and would be quite different than watching a movie on our laptop screen!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Just so that you know...

Colonoscopy and endoscopy are behind me (pardon the pun!). Okay, so Thursday and Friday and were a bit rough. Actually Thursday day wasn't so bad but by Thursday night I was pretty hungry and had a REALLY hard time drinking 2L of that disgusting drink that you have to drink. Then Friday, I was starving and had a really bad headache from not eating. Then I had to drink another litre of that disgusting drink which was tough again. Once I finally got to actually go in for the procedure, it was easy...I don't remember anything once they put the IV for the sedative in my arm, until I woke up in recovery and felt STARVING again!!! They finally fed me a sandwich, some juice and a tea and once I had that in me, I was fine. Totally felt back to normal. I really don't function well without food!! Anyway, the doctor said that everything looked fine, just have to wait to get back some results from the lab, but that doctor thinks it'll all be ok. Basically means that my belly aches are solely from eating foods that make me sick. That's good news and helps to remind me that the restricted diet I follow is worth it! Just want to say a special thanks to Stacey who came over on Thursday night with a card, homemade spaghetti sauce and gluten and dairy free muffins and cookies for me to look forward to having after everything was over. It totally cheered me up, as I was feeling a bit blue at that point! Thanks Stace!!!!!:)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Jesse seems to be back to his old self (hyper and a wee bit annoying today!) and thanks to Hollie's ( wonderful suggestion to use baking soda on the carpet to absorb the smell, our bedroom smells nice again! Thanks to everyone who gave advice on how to help get Jes back to normal and how to make my house smell like roses again!
As for me, I'm making the most of this limited food diet and finding recipes for things I can have. Okay I found one recipe but still, I was happy with that! It's not going too bad, although, I'm sure I won't be thinking that way tomorrow this time, when I can only drink clear fluids from lunchtime tomorrow until Friday evening!! Steve thinks I'm cranky on a normal day when I get hungry...well watch out!;) I also decided that if I have to eat white bread, it might as well be the good kind, so I bought a homemade loaf from the bakery, the kind that comes in a brown paper bag and smells amazing and I have to say, it's yummy! It's so fresh and with the fancy jelly I bought (I can have jelly, just not jam...weird, huh?) it's soooo good! If I have it with a cup of tea, it reminds me of a snack I would have eaten at my Nanny Gillmore's house growing up! Mmmm!! I'm off work tomorrow and Friday and have some sewing projects planned for tomorrow. I'm going to need something to distract me from my hunger! Hope everyone is having a good week!

Monday, April 07, 2008

A "Poopy" Day...literally.

So, I awoke this morning to a strong smell of poop. I actually thought I was just dreaming at first, as I think the smell entered my dreams and sleep. Steve also thought I was dreaming when I yelled, "Steve wake up! Jesse had diarrhea everywhere!" Unfortunately, I wasn't just talking in my sleep. Jesse has been eating these little round things that fall off the palm trees in the backyard. They are small balls about the size of a melon ball that you might eat off a nice fruit buffet. They have a hard inner shell and a pulpy outer covering that does kind of smell like the inside of a pumpkin when you carve it at Halloween. Apparently, he ate a lot of them because he was a very sick puppy. There was poop all around our bed, as if he got stressed and came in to see us and then all the way out to the backdoor, where he was probably hoping to get out. It was disgusting. I don't get disgusted easily, but I actually gagged a few times trying to clean it up. The hardwood from the bedroom to the mudroom was easy to clean, but the carpet (where the most of it was, of course!) was much harder! It was awful and I can still smell it in our bedroom tonight. It reminds me of the smell of a baby room in a daycare, after they have just changed a few poopy diapers. Everything is cleaned up yet the smell of poop still lingers in the air. I've used cleaner, laundry stain remover spray and tea tree oil in hopes of getting rid of the odour. I just finished scrubbing the carpet AGAIN.
The ironic thing is that I haven't been looking forward to this week at all and was just saying to Steve last night that it was going to be a "shitty" week. I have my colonoscopy on Friday and have a CRAZY diet to follow from now until then. I can't even eat on Thursday from lunchtime until Friday night when it's over and the only thing that I can eat on Thursday morning is 4 pieces of white plain toast. The diet starts tomorrow and basically doesn't include eating anything yummy and only bare necessities. For anyone who knows how much I eat and how crappy I feel when I don't eat, you can guess how terrible this is going to be! I'm trying to stay optimistic but really, I'm thinking that this morning's event is just the beginning to a very poopy week. No pun intended.
As for Jesse, he seems much better tonight, although you can tell by these pictures that he wasn't well. We didn't feed him breakfast and he had a light dinner with cooked white rice (appartently good for dogs with the poops) and his energy seems better (he was more quiet than usual). As for the yard, Steve has temporarily fenced off the back where the palm trees are until we get a chance to rake up all the thingies (not sure what to call them). It'll mean racking everyday I'm sure as a lot of them fall off each day, apparently because it's autumn. So, until this stage of season passes, it'll be on the to-do-list daily. Guess this proves that Brisbane does have season changes after all.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Would you like to sponsor us? :) :)

Hi Everyone!

I have a favor to ask...

Jesse and I are doing a walk for the RSPCA (called just SPCA in Canada) on May 18th to help them raise money and we need some sponsors! You can sponsor us online by going to this website... ...just click on "Sponsor Me" and then it'll ask for your details.

Thank you so much in advance! I'm really looking forward to a doggie day of fun and hope that we can raise some money for this great cause!!! Here's the website all about it... .


Cari and Jesse

Friday, April 04, 2008

Gardening Woes

I think it's time I face the fact that gardening is just not a strength of mine! I love plants and flowers but have the gardening skills of a slug. Clo gave me the most adorable plant for Easter and I have tried so hard to water it, make sure it's getting the right amount of light, etc...seriously I followed the directions that came with it perfectly and look at what it looks like at the moment (pic below)... :(
I have lots of other plants that while they don't die, they don't exactly thrive either. I'm pretty sure my plants in Montreal didn't grow for the whole 4 years that we lived there. They just stayed the same. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. Maybe I need to name them and start talking to them?! My Mom is the gardening queen, but obviously, I didn't get any of that ability in my blood! So sorry about the plant Clo! Maybe there's hope for it coming back? I won't give up yet!!!
My "skills" aren't just limited to indoor plants. Awhile back, I weeded this garden and planted wild flower seeds. The only thing that grew back...more weeds. I partly blame Jesse for this though. As soon as I planted the seeds, he decided to start using the garden as his bed and not only laid in it daily but rolled vigorously in it as well. Poor little seedings didn't stand a chance. I think I'll go bake something to cheer myself up...

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Check this out...

Go here... ...and read this. Warms the heart and makes you smile:)

Jesse, Jesse Jay!

Jesse has become quite the little escape artist. Not only has he officially figured out how to open the gate in our front yard but yesterday he found a way to get out the backyard as well. Awhile back, I heard him barking and went to check on him and just as I was going down the front stairs, he opened the gate with his nose and took off after the neighbor's cat. I ran after him and caught him right away. Then yesterday, I didn't go to work until 2 pm (very rarely that happens) and was just getting ready to leave when I heard a lot of noise coming from the backyard. I went to see what it was and found Jesse stomping through sticks and leaves in the very back part of the yard. Just as I was about to call him, he slipped through a hole in the fence and was in the neighbor's driveway. I called after him and ran to grab him. You couldn't see the hole from our yard, it was hidden by bushes, but Jesse managed to find it...Steve had even carefully checked the fencing when we first moved in. Can I just say that we have been so lucky that I just happened to be home and caught him both times in the act when he got out?? Jesse isn't on a mission to escape but stumbles upon these things and then gets curious. He has no street smarts at all and we do live by a very busy area. I'm hoping everything is secure now and there's nowhere that he can get out. I'm telling ya, he makes us worry! Good thing he's so darn cute!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Cari Anna's Kitchen...

I know I haven't been doing so well with posting lately, but in my defense, I've been busy blogging elsewhere! Here's the other blog that I have started... .