Monday, October 27, 2008


I got pooped on not once, but TWICE today by birds. That's good luck, right...? Or is that just what they tell people who have poop in their hair to make them feel better...?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

First Off Road Triathlon!

First off, I have to thank Cari for once again getting up at a stupid early time and being my right hand girl. I love having her at events to cheer me on, its awesome. Thanks bub.
"In 2 Adventure" hold an off road triathlon series here in Queensland. It's a series of 4 events, each race gets longer. FYI, "A triathlon is an endurance sports event consisting of swimming, cycling and running over various distances"

The race I did today was the first of the series, with a 350 meter swim, 10km mountain bike ride and a 4km trail run. The last race of the series will be a 1km swim, 25km mountain bike ride and a 10km run, that race wont be until March 2009 (thank god)
I've always wanted to do triathlons, and I wasn't disappointed with my first one. I completed the race in 1hr 13 minutes, with a 7 minute 32 second 350 meter swim, 37 minute 10km mountain bike ride, and a 22 minute 4 km run, and maybe 3 minutes for each of the 2 transition's.
A view of the pond that the swim was held in.
Off to set up my bike in the transition area.
Getting my bike and helmet checked at the transition area.
Setting up the bike gear and running kit. I have to say, I wasn't thinking with a full deck this morning. I walked away from my bike forgetting to attach my race number to it and my running shirt, only remembering when I was walking back to the race briefing. So I get that taken care of in a mad rush and head off to the race brief with Cari. After the brief Cari stayed at the finish area and I headed off to the pond for the start of the race (5-10 minute walk, was in bare feet on a gravel road) with about 8 minutes left until the start, I realize I don't have the magnetic timing strap that is need to track my swim and run times, Cari has it in the race bag I got when I registered. So I have to run and find her, get it, and then run back with only a couple minutes to catch my breath and get in position....not a good way to start!
And were off.
There I am, near the back of the pack. I've been swimming 3 days a week for the last month and a half, when I first started I could barely do 100 meters straight, now I can do 500 meters without stopping. (a slow 500 meters!) Being at the back was better for me, swimming is my weakest event, and I knew I would hit a wall really fast if I tried to keep up with the leaders. I was able to keep a good steady pace with out getting kick and smacked in the face from the other swimmers. I did a personal best 350 meter swim (I never got below 8 minutes in the pool)
After the swim you have to rush to your bike, put on your cycling gear and hit the trail. I think my first transition time was about 3 minutes. I was feeling good after the swim, the day was getting hot so it was nice to be in wet cloths for the ride. The bike leg of the race was by far my strongest, I passed a lot of people, especial on the climbs, which there were a lot of. It was my kind of trail, fast single track and decent climbs. Tons of fun. The course was 5km long and you did it twice.
Finishing the second loop and heading to the transition area to get my gear on for the 4km run.
Crossing the finish line after the run. The run was good, averaged about 5 minutes 30 seconds a km. Usually during a normal running race I keep a pace of about 4 minutes 40 seconds a km, but I was still really happy with my run time.
The bike and run transition area. Lots of nice bikes!
There's my ride, she did me proud again, I must say I am a Avanti fan, I've never owned one before, but I plan on owning more.

Steve (my legs hurt) Dickinson

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Exciting news...

As most of you know, we'll be in Australia 2 yrs this coming January, which means we can apply for permanent residency. Steve met with the lawyer yesterday and the process has been started! How exciting! There are a lot of papers to get together, police checks to do, doctor visits, blood work, you name it but the lawyer said that at this stage, once you have everything organized, it's only taking about a month for them to approve (or not approve...but I'm thinking positive!) you. It'll be good to have the security that comes with residency and the same rights as an Aussie. You get everything but the right to vote, which only happens once you have citizenship. Medicare will be a big bonus of residency, plus just not having the hassle of visas will be awesome! Steve's company assists with the process, which is great too! Good stuff...fingers crossed that we can *easily* find all the info we need! It'll take us a few months to get it all together but if all goes well, we could have our permanent residency by the middle of next year. Just for the record, it doesn't mean that we lose any of our Canadian rights (I made sure of that!). We can even have dual citizenship, which is fantastic!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Last weekend we headed back to the same piece of private property in Noosa that we camped on before. Unfortunately, Kate and Morgan weren't able to be there this time but they made it possible for all of us to still go (the property belongs to friends of their family)...thanks for that guys!
The camping gang this time around included, Me, Steve, Rej, Clo, Amy, Dan, Darryl, Stacey and the kids.
I won't say too much about the weekend. It was much like last time, except that the creepy crawlers and little critters seemed to be out more, perhaps because it's summer now and warmer since the last time we were there. We took a lot of pictures (about 130!) as we always do! Here are a few of the ones I liked the best...
Above is Jesse just about to shake...I wish my neck was that relaxed!

Steve making breakfast...

Rej and Clo strolling on the beach...

The photos posted a bit random. Here's more brekky and Dan...

Clo and Amy soaking up the Australian rays...

Horses on the beach! We saw camels again too...

This guy was around a lot...he's a 'Gould's Monitor' and was quite long! Check out Rej's blog for more details... I think this is a different one...he climbs trees like it's nobody's business!
More glow bracelets for the campfire...thanks Rej and Clo!
A green tree frog who Steve found at night by using Rej's bright light to spot his was pretty cool! We found lots of spiders too, some big and some small...
Sand monster!
Steve was getting a little sunned out by this point. You really need to cover up here...that Aussie sun is strong!
Breagha enjoying the sand...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


If your work was having a Christmas party and the theme was...
"What you want to be when you grow up"
and you had to dress up in costume for it...what would you go as?
I need some seriously good ideas...I'm stumped!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Canadian Thanksgiving!

So, as I've said before, I often forget what holiday, or birthday (even my own!) is coming up because well, the seasons just mess me up here! So, not surprising, I had completely forgot that it was Thanksgiving in Canada until Sara posted about it on my blog (Thanks Sara!). After receiving some very nice Thanksgiving wishes from family on facebook, I decided at the VERY last minute that Thanksgiving shouldn't pass us by just because we live in Australia. So, at 11 am on Sunday morning, we decided to invite some fellow Canadians to come and share in a bit of a Thanksgiving dinner. Of course, we didn't have turkey (way too last minute for that!), but made do with a couple cooked bbq chickens, canned gravy and all the trimmings. Clo made cranberry sauce, Stacey made dessert and Kate (yeah, she's an Aussie but she's spent time in Canada!) brought seafood chowder as an appetizer. Steve now thinks that every holiday should involve seafood chowder! Everyone got together around 4:30 Sunday afternoon for food, chit chat and of course, a little what we're thankful for sharing! Thanks for helping to pull it all together at the last minute guys!
I didn't take very many photos (I was too busy chatting...I mean cooking...) but here's a few...
Everyone did a great job sharing what they were thankful for. It's too bad we only do that once a year...I think it's important to reflect on what you're thankful for daily!
Here's what I said that I was thankful for:
~ My friends in Brisbane, who make it possible to still have a Thanksgiving dinner with friends, even though we live on the other side of the world!
~ Of course, Steve and Jesse.
~ My family and the fact that they all seem to be happy and healthy.
~ Also, my old friends who even though I don't get to talk to very often, I still know they are my bestest friends and that we'll be there for each other when/if we need to be! I love that. True friends.
~ My health, which has improved heaps since moving to Australia and is only going to get better!
~The opportunity to live in the land down under and experience all the wonderful things that it brings!

Steve was thankful for his bike. Such a dork!:)

Clo also brought me this adorable plant which I was very thankful for! Hopefully, it survives a life in the Dickinson household! I'll do my best!

And, I just want to say once again how thankful I am for the friends that I have made here. It's tough being so far away from home sometimes and having friends to talk with, laugh with and just have fun with makes all the difference in the world!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Clo's 30th Birthday!

Last night we headed over to Rej and Clo's house for a birthday bbq. Clo turned 30 on Friday and while the original plan was to spend her birthday weekend camping on an Australian beach, we made the most out of the rainy weekend and had a great time celebrating indoors! Above, the birthday girl drinking some bubbly from her "Happy 30th Birthday" glass...
Everyone wanted to come out for the party, including the cockatoos! Rej and Clo get several at their place and they've been working with them for a few months to get them comfortable with people. They will eat from your hand and one will even sit on your arm. It's pretty cool but still a little freaky! They are quite big!
Steve feeding one...
Me getting a little closer...
I tried feeding them to say I did it but to be honest I didn't stick around long! Birds just freak. me. out.
Very pretty though from a safe distance!
Anyway, moving inside...great company, food and vino...

...followed by a bit of Guitar Hero on the projector...

I mean, really, what party is complete without that?!

Hope you had a fantastic 30th birthday Clo! Thanks for inviting us to share in the fun!:)

My Boys

Saturday afternoon snooze...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Day at the spa...

Unfortunately, it wasn't me who spent the day at the spa, it was Jes! Snugs spent most of the day yesterday at "The Pet Pad" getting professionally groomed for the first time. He's been really minding the heat, especially when he jogs with me and he's been shedding like crazy. Steve and I usually groom him ourselves but it takes hours and we just haven't had the time. He looks pretty handsome and although I would have preferred them to trim him a bit shorter, he still feels super soft and smells so good! The lady told Steve they took 2 garbage bags of hair out of him! I believe that...he loses a lot of hair! Hopefully this will help him cope with the Aussie heat because summer seems to have arrived early. We've been hitting temps of 30 degrees already and it's only spring! People are saying it'll be a hot summer, which we haven't really experienced here because last summer was unusually cool and the summer before we got here mid-way through the season. I don't think Jes liked the grooming so much...the lady said he did well but would need a break every now and then and he didn't like when they blow dried him! I'm sure he hated it, as he doesn't even stay in the room with me when I blow dry my own hair!

Friday, October 10, 2008


The jacaranda trees are blooming all over the city and they are just as pretty this year as I remember them to be last year. I just love them. They are massive trees of bright purple that brighten up the city everywhere you look. They looked especially beautiful today against a cloudy grey sky. It's raining here and calling for rain all weekend, so no camping for us. It's okay though, I'm happy to spend a quiet weekend working on some of the stuff I'm making for Christmas and hopefully we can reschedule camping soon!
I had to share a couple of pictures of the trees...Steve refers to the pedals that fall as "Australian snow" because they remind him a bit of snow. Maybe it's the way they leave such a pretty dusting on everything. I do miss seeing the first little dusting of snow all over everything at the beginning of the winter season. A snow holiday would be fun but for now I'll settle for the jacarandas...

Happy birthday Ma!

Isn't it nifty , Ma is way into her fifties!
Don't look so surprised.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I was sceptical but...

...Tomato Soup Cake isn't bad! Not sure if you've checked out Kristi's awesome blog lately( but she recently posted about this cake. I was definitely iffy about what it would be like but Kristi had only the yummiest reviews for it and I can never pass up the chance to try a new baking recipe. I was nervous, especially because I didn't really like the batter was good! Very moist and kind of reminded me a bit of carrot cake without the carrots. Cream cheese goes well on it, as Kristi suggested, unfortunately, I had to use a crappy store bought cream cheese icing because my electric mixer died right as I was about to finish mixing the cake batter. Anyhoo, if you want to give it a go, you can find the full recipe at Thanks for the recipe Kristi and thanks for always keeping things interesting! :)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A quick update...

I have recovered from the 4 day worst headache of my life. Turns out it was the result of congested sinuses. I thought of everything but that, until a friend mentioned that might be what it is. I went for some acupuncture on Saturday and started taking some sinus medication and felt better that same day. Who knew that you could have such blocked sinuses but not have a stuffed up nose? Weird.
I've been trying to focus on my health again, as I think it's slipped dramatically since I started my new job. I'm tired all the time these days and have tension headaches daily. Sigh. I'm determined to find some balance in my life again and have been trying to make more time for me. Time to just relax, reflect and refresh. I think it's working already, but being the perfectionist that I am, I have a long way to go! Sometimes letting things go isn't so easy, especially when it comes to ignoring a messy house!
What else can I tell you...
Jesse ate a whole protein bar that Steve had left over from his endurance race. Luckily, it was only chocolate flavored and he seems fine. Really, what won't that dog eat...?
We're off for another camping adventure this coming weekend. We're heading back to Noosa (where we camped last time) on Saturday morning and coming back Sunday. I'm really looking forward to it. It was so peaceful last time. It'll be nice to unwind and get away. Steve's been super busy this week at work and has been staying late. I think we'll both be ready for some marshmallow roasting, wine drinking, campfire fun by Saturday!
Hope everyone is doing well. I think of you all so often, and even though I am absolutely dreadful at keeping touch, please know that you're all in my heart and I'm sending you positive vibes and love from here!:)
And just to leave you with a quote that I adore and found while browsing blogs (there are so many inspiring ones out there!)...

"Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit quietly on your shoulder..." Thoreau

I just love that.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

8 hours, 10 laps, 110km and I live to tell the story!

I'm going to keep this post short because I'm half asleep and I need to get to bed. I had an awesome day, it was a lot of fun. I managed to ride right until the end of the race (only stopped to get food and water from Cari) I was able to get 10 laps in 8 hours, which would be about 110km of trail riding. I entered the Open Male Solo Category, there were 42 guys in this category and I came in 17th. The course was awesome, the weather was really hot (about 30 degrees) and I had a great time. The bike worked awesome, not a single mechanical problem, and I held up really good, I never felt over tried or too hot, I drank a crap load of water, sports drink and protein shakes and I had something to eat after almost every lap so I never felt hungry.
The above pic is a view of the lake that part of the course went around.

Some how we got all of my stuff in.
The property was awesome, very beautiful piece of land.
Putting on my race number, if you make the pic big it looks like I have a smoke in my mouth.
Starting area.
Going past Cari after the first lap, I didn't stop at this lap, I think I had a time of about 40 minutes. As the day went on the lap times started to go up.
Cari passing the time between laps by taking pics of herself.
Coming in after my second lap to get some sports drink and a little bite to eat.

Coming in again after another lap, not sure which lap this was.
Mmmmmm protein shake.
Bike is starting to get dirty, lots of dust on the trail, the whole course was very dry, made for a very pasty mouth.
Not sure what to say about this.Coming over the finish line at 7 hours 58 minutes.
Dirty bike and rider.
Not sure why the pic is upside down, but you can see the difference between my white foot and my caked on dirt leg.. Actually helped keep the sun off.
Watching the awards at the end of the race. The winner of the Open Male Solo Category did 16 laps.... that really is mind blowing. There were also teams of 2, 3 and 4, male, female and mixed. There must have been almost 200 racers there today, not a bad turn out.
My wife, head of the Dickinson pit crew. She was awesome. Always had food and drink waiting for me, make sure I was always covered in sun screen and was my biggest fan. Thanks bub for giving up your Sunday and cheering me on!

My next race is a Mountain Bike Trialthon that is in 3 weeks. Its a short one, 350 meter swim, 10km mtb ride and 4km trail run. There's 4 races in the series and each one gets longer. The last one is a 1000 meter swim 25km mtb ride and 10km trail run. I've already started swiming at lunch to get ready for it, most of my runs now are in the evening, its starting to get really hot here during the day.

Steve (arse feels like someone spanked it with a paddle, over and over and over again) Dickinson