Sunday, November 29, 2009


I realized today what Cari being away for 2 weeks really means to me... freedom.

Not the usual freedoms, like leaving the toilet seat up, throwing my dirty cloths anywhere I want, not washing the sheets until I have to pry them from the mattress with a paint scrapper or just simply watching a movie as loud as I damn well please.

No, my new freedom was much more, and one I thought I would never again have.
For years now I have been suppressed by a wife, who although means well, has nonetheless prevented me from expressing my culinary mastery. It hurts me to have to speak negatively of a woman who comes so close to being perfect, who can light up a room just form a single laugh and who probably doesn't have any idea of the languish she has put me through over the last 10 years.

Today I made a beef stew, a beef stew that I think is the best one I have ever created.
Why you ask. Why is this the stew that all stews henceforth will now be judged from.


That one single ingredient was the difference between merely a stew made for a meal, but a master piece worthy of words that I can't seem to come up with.

Yes Cari, I know you don't like mushrooms in beef stew but I will no longer be silenced.


Steve (burnt his tongue bad while tasting his beef stew) Dickinson

Thursday, November 26, 2009

This is the life!

I'm catching up on blogs, email and facebook on Heather's laptop while she patiently covers my entire head in foils. Really, does it get any better than this?

Best things about home so far...

...the welcoming crew that surprised me at the airport!

...Tim Hortons chocolate chip muffins! Actually everything from Tims!

...visiting with my Nanny. Gosh, she is such a funny lady!

...dinner with my family.

...Shopping at Frenchys. Oh. My. Goodness. Frenchys!!! All used clothes, all cheap, all wonderful! I went to 2 different Frenchys on my first day and spent $90! I scored 3 dresses, 4 skirts, a gazillion shirts and even a handbag and scarf. I also bought a new suitcase there for 5 bucks to take everything back in!

...Dollar Store! Everything for $1. Enough said.

...Chattin' with my Mama over a cup of tea:)

To be honest, it's absolutely amazing being home again. I knew I missed it, I just didn't realize how much. I even missed the smell of the Canadian air and gazing up at a Canadian sky. Hello, big dipper!
There is just one thing that sucks about being home...

...not having this guy home with me!
Miss you Babe! Give Jes a bum rubs for me! xo

Monday, November 23, 2009

34 hours later and I'm here!

I made it! I'm home! It's bliss!!! I'm on cloud nine. I also just woke up and in 3 pm in the afternoon! I'm off to see my Mama and have dinner with my family. Be back soon!

Friday, November 20, 2009

One more sleep!

Well, it's kind of only a half sleep. I have to get up at 4:30 to head to the airport. Then fly for a total of 26.5 hours. Hopefully sleeping happens a bit on the plane! Hopefully sleeping happens a lot on the plane! Then, finally, I'll be in Nova Scotia for the first time in almost 3 years! Eeek!!!:)

More Shepparton Pics

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I received this picture in my email box yesterday. Apparently, this is how the guys at Steve's work spend their time. This has made me seriously reconsider my dream of someday wanting a daughter;)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Shepparton Half Ironman

Well, 19 weeks of training came down to one day, I don't think I've ever worked this hard for anything ever before. The organizers did a fantastic job putting together this race, everything seemed to run perfect. It took me 5hrs 39 minutes to finish, pretty much bang on the time I had set in my head that I wanted to achieve.

Registration and various vendors selling fun stuff.

The biggest stress on Saturday was making sure my bike number was on straight.

After the bike was checked over by an official I was able to bring it into the bike compound. The bikes are left over night in the compound, once it goes in you can't take it out until the end of the race the next day...

Looking over the lake, mentally swimming it....

Cari standing in the lake, mentally wishing she was shopping... I have to thank Cari for putting up with a lot of crap over the last few months. Most of my bike training was in our living room on a fluid trainer. Nothing beats a nosy, stinky husband spending hours spinning on a bike with a movie turned up really loud so he can hear it over the noise of the trainer. Or him waking up at 6am on weekend mornings and heading out for long rides or runs then coming home dead tired and cranky. Love you babe!

Looking over the bike compound 5:30 Sunday morning. Woke up at 4am, ate, and relaxed. Got my stuff together then woke Cari up. I slept surprisingly well. The temp was just hitting 20 degrees at 5 am, and was calling for a high of 37 :(

At 5:30am they opened the bike compound so you could set up your transition area. It was pretty cool seeing all the pros getting ready, they each had their own way of doing things. The bike compound is only open for 1 hour, after which everyone is kicked out.

The great thing about a lake swim is the fact that its so calm, unlike an ocean swim which can get really rough. The average temp leading up to the race was about 36 degrees, which meant the lake was unusually warm. The morning of the race the water temp was over 25 degrees making it a mandatory non wet suit swim. This has a big impact on swim times, swimming with a wet suit makes you more buoyant, which reduces drag.

The swim was a deep water start, meaning when the race started you are already in the lake treading water. We had to walk around the lake to the starting area. Each age category was given a specific color swim cap, each color had a different start time. Pros went first at 7am, my category started at 7:06am. The swim was 1.9km long and consisted of 1.5 laps of the lake. This is by far my weakest area, add on top of that being surrounded by hundreds of other people all trying to go in the same direction, it can get pretty rough. My goggles fogged up bad, to the point where I could no longer sight the buoys. Several times I had to slow down and fill my goggles with water to clear them. The tried and true methods of keeping my goggles fog free failed (spit and toothpaste). Other than that the swim was great, I felt good at the end and it took just over 41 minutes to complete. My goal was to do it in under 45 minutes, so I was very happy with the time.

Everyone gathered at the starting area for the swim.

After the 1.9km swim you exit the lake and run about 100m to the bike compound, where you hurriedly get everything you need for the bike ride together, grab your bike, run out of the compound and start your ride. My transition time was less then 3 minutes which I was really happy with. In the above pic I'm returning from the bike leg of the race. Cycling is my strongest area, add on top of that a flat course and only a slight breeze made for an awesome ride. The bike leg is 90km long and is split into 3, 30km loops. Each loop passed the transition area where all the crowd is waiting to cheer you on. During the ride some of the pros passed me. I was happily cruising along at almost 40km an hour when 7 or 8 of the pros passed me like a group of cruise missiles, I could hear the whoosh whoosh whoosh of their full carbon rear wheels before they passed me. When the last pro went by I dropped the hammer and hung onto his wheel (well 3 bike lengths behind him, drafting is illegal) for a couple of minutes. Their ability to hold such a pace is mind blowing. I soon dropped back knowing that I would soon explode if I kept that pace. The 90km cycle took me just under 2hrs 50min, my average speed was around 32-33km an hour.

With the ride finished I made my way back into the bike compound, found my spot, racked my bike and got my running shoes on.

Getting into my running gear.

With the bike racked and my running shoes on I made my way out of the compound and start the 21km run. At this point the temperature was reaching 35 degrees. Saying the run was hard is an understatement. I've run that distance many times, but in that heat it was pure hell. In the end it took me 2hrs 9min to finish the run, this was the only part of the race I was a little disappointed with, but considering the temps during the run I'm just happy I finished.

Go Canada!

Crossing the finish line, sun burnt, chafed, and blistered but feeling good.

Having a dip after the race to cool down.

So what now?
For starters, I'm taking 2 weeks off from any form of exercise. Cari leaves for Canada this Saturday and I'll be heading to Byron Bay, meeting up with 5 friends to do nothing but relax for 4 days. So excited!
When I get back I'd like to find a good triathlon club to join, nothing is better then training with other like minded people, so far I've been going at it pretty much on my own, armed only with a training program that I downloaded off the net.
I'm going to enter the Geelong half Ironman which is on Feb 7th 2010. In December I'll do my first sprint triathlon, (500m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run) that will be held just down the street near St. Kilda.

Pending any work issues, I'd like to do a full IronMan next December in Perth. That's not yet a commitment, but I'm taking steps now to see if I can make it happen.

Steve (half a man) Dickinson

Monday, November 16, 2009

5 More Sleeps!

Only 5 more sleeps and I'm off to Canada!!! It's a very busy week at work this week and lots to do during the evenings to get ready for my trip. Plus, I have a staff meeting tomorrow night and 2 appointments to go to on Thursday evening. At this rate, it'll be Saturday before I know it!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Steve...You ROCK!!!

We had a fantastic weekend in Shepparton! I can't even begin to tell you what an amazing job Steve did finishing the half ironman. For those of you who don't know, a half ironman means he swam 1.9 km, rode a 90 km bike ride and ran a 21 km run. I am so proud of him! It was really hot, hitting 35 degrees, making an already tough race even harder. Steve was a real trooper and even managed a smile coming over the finish line. I'll let him tell you all about it in a later post, with lots of pictures! For now, were both off to tend to sunburns and relax with a good cold drink!

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's here!

After 19 exhausting weeks of watching this guy train (really it's been soooo hard on me!), the weekend of Steve's half iron person (er, man) has finally come. We leave tomorrow for Shepparton, about a 2 hour drive from Melbourne, where we'll spend tomorrow night in a hotel and then get up bright and early (4:30 am!) Sunday morning for the event. It's going to be a hot one! It's currently calling for 35 degrees there that day! Ouch. I'm going to be so hot sitting on my butt watching. I mean really, the things I do...the life of an athlete's wife;)
But, for real...Good Luck Babe! You've worked so hard! I've been so proud of you these last few months! Break a how about we just stick with good luck!:)
Stay tuned for photos! Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Holy Hot!

It's been HOT in Melbourne! Temps have been up over 30 degrees for 5 days in a row now, with yesterday and today hitting 35 degrees! Does that make it a heat wave? Apparently, this is the hottest start to November in something like 80 years. I'm wondering if this is the start of a very long, hot summer! On a positive note, I find it's a different kind of hot here than in Brisbane. We don't seem to get the humidity in Melbourne, making for a much nicer heat, even when the temps are so high. Now, I just have to accept that it will be really cold when I go home to Nova Scotia in only a week and a half!!!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

A Sunday completely devoted to summer...

This weekend temps hit 32 degrees both days. Steve and I decided to spend a few hours at the beach today. It was so nice to hop in the car, drive 15 minutes and be at one of many great beaches. I really love love love living in Melbourne!:)

We went swimming, relaxed in the sun, caught some much needed rays (WOW, I'm pale!) and ate ice cream. The perfect day at the beach!

Lots of Yum Yum buses at the beaches!

Then, this evening we went for a little stroll through the botanical gardens, which are just around the corner from our house. They really are quite impressive. All the rain we've had over the last few months have really helped the gardens to blossom!

Pretty flowers and trees and bushes everywhere but these ones were especially nice! I adore the white leaves!

It was too hot to cook and well, we were lazy, so we picked up some Thai take away on the way home and relaxed in front of the TV. Ah, what a lovely way to spend one of the first Sundays of the summer season!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend too!

Friday, November 06, 2009


Your hair:
Is newly

Where is your cell phone?
Buried in the bottom of my work bag, still on silent. I'm terrible at remembering to keep my ringer on and my phone out! Sorry in advance to anyone who ever tries to call me!

Your mother:
Lives on the other side of the world, yet I always know she's right there if I need her:) xo
Your father: Appreciated the simple things in life. You know, like 8 cans of sardines individually wrapped in his stocking or a root beer after he'd been racking leaves.

Your favorite food:


Your dream from last night: Hmmm...I can't remember.

Your favorite drink: Strawberry or vanilla thick-shakes and Chardonnay.

Your dream/goal: To travel, travel, travel. See all I can of this world! Oh and maybe have one of these little squirts...


What room are you in: Living room.

What is your hobby: Blogging, crafting, sewing, baking. A few of my favorite things:)

What is your fear: Okay, don't laugh but I have this new bizarre fear of a possum falling on me! It all started when I rolled open our rolling garage door and a possum and her baby fell out right beside me! They were sleeping inside the rolled up part. I. almost. dropped. dead. SERIOUSLY. Since then, I have had dreams of possums landing on me and clawing me and not letting go. I've woke up screaming a couple of times! I avoid walking under trees at night and very sloooowly open the garage door!

Where were you last night: Rox Salon, getting my hair done.

Something you are not: A hard-ass. Much more of a mush-ball;)

Muffins: One of my favorite things! I'm currently obsessed with the white chocolate and raspberry muffins at the cafe by my work! YUM!

Wish list items: This camera and a couch!

Where did you grow up: Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Last thing you did: Fed Jesse supper. Do you know that they don't say "supper" in Australia? They don't even know what it means!

What are you wearing: PJs...been wearing them all day! Pyjama day at work:)

Your TV: Needs to be dusted!

Your pets:

You mean this guy who thinks he's human and gets huffy if I wake him up too early? Ah, Bum Rubs...I wove you.

Your friends: All live too far away!

Your life: Is pretty awesome, I have to say!:)

Your mood:

Creative. I'm going to make some Christmas stuff after this!! I know it's early, but bare in mind, I'm going home to Canada for 2 weeks!

Missing someone:

Can't wait to catch up with my sisters and brother when I go home!

Vehicle: 2 Door Manual Toyota Yaris.

Something you’re not wearing:

Socks or shoes.

Your favorite store:

Gosh, I dunno. I really, really like thrift shopping. Does "thrift store" count?

Your favorite color: I have NO idea. I've never been able to answer this question! It's too stressful to choose!

When’s the last time you laughed: Today at work. Actually, I laugh a lot at work. The kids are pretty funny! I laughed especially hard today when one little boy asked how I turned my hair "lello";)

When’s the last time you cried: Hmmm...I'm a bit of a sap, so I cry often! I think the last time was on Tuesday! A good cry is good for the soul!:)

Your best friend:

Is a little cranky at the moment...

Luckily, best friend #2 rarely gets cranky!

One place you go over and over: Thai restaurant around the corner for take-away.

One person who emails me regularly:

Hmmm...not really anyone on a real regular basis. Although, this chick always makes an effort to find time to keep in touch via email...

Thanks Stace!

Favorite place to eat: many restaurants...I *love* eating out! But, I also love picnics!:)

Where do you want to be in 6 years: Anywhere that I'm surrounded by people I love, work that inspires me, good health and lots of happiness!:)

Okay, so now it's your turn! Copy, paste and share!:)