I Ran

As you know, I’ve been smashing it with my training lately. I’m not training for anything in particular. Just running. Running away from my PTSD and PND.

I’m down a whole nine kilos today.

NINE KILOGRAMS!

I’m shouting for joy! To celebrate, I went shopping and bought some new shoes and some new gym clothes, in a size smaller. The pants I ran in this morning are getting far too big.

Also in another triumph tiday

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Yeah that. I know I’m not the fastest runner ever. In fact, I know that I walked quite a way of that five kilometres, but in January, when I was nine kilos heavier, I was averaging 11 minutes per kilometre. Today my average was 8 minutes and 40 seconds per kilometre!

So that’s been my day.

I hope you’re having a lovely Easter break.

Xx

Me and My Ted

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been a bit of a car lover. My parents bought a 1984 VK Holden Commodore, that was a V8 and I just adored the car. I called him Bluey and he was loud and proud and in my own thoughts, another member of the family.

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Not my parents car, but same colour, minus the red speed stripe

Then they sold that car for a 1995 VR Commodore Berlina.

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Again, not their car, but same model and colour

We were a Holden family. My uncle was a Holden mechanic and we pledged our allegiance to the General. All of my cousins families also had Holdens.

When I finally got my licence, I actually didn’t buy a Holden. I bought a Mazda 2, on the advice of my mechanic uncle. I named him Max and we went everywhere together. He was a victim of pregnancy though and had to go because it was too tight a squeeze in there with Missy’s seat.

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Me and my Max, we went everywhere together

We bought a really lovely FG Falcon XR6 (yes, this true Holden girl bought a Ford and did actually love the car). The Ford (it’s name) was a head turner. It looked so schmick. Dark grey. Chrome mags. Darker than legal reflective tints. Just beautiful. However mechanically it was a lemon and it’s gearbox blew up at 69000km, so it had to go.

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Unfortunately this shot is quite blurry, I couldn’t find a better photo on Facebook

So when the gearbox blew, we needed to buy a new car very quickly. Which is how Ted came into our family

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I finally owned a Holden of my own and I was a proud as. Nothing could have wiped the smile off my face the day I drove out of the dealership in my new Commodore.

I named him Ted after the 1980s Australian sitcom character, Ted Bullpit from Kingswood Country.


If you ignore how politically incorrect Ted Bullpit is and appreciate his car obsession, you’ll understand why my Ted is named after him

So, after knowing my car loving history, I’m sure you’ll appreciate how I reacted this morning when my beautiful car was rear ended on my way to work.

We were stopped at traffic lights and suddenly the car behind me rolled into my bumper bar. I was devastated! Also so thankful that there were no injuries, since my Little Miss was in the back seat.

I was more annoyed at the woman’s attitude. She was all “oops”. Seriously. Then her dad said to me “maybe we don’t need to go through insurance?” To which I replied “yeah, I will be making a claim”. Seriously.

I wanted to cry. Missy and I were not injured and neither was the other woman. Her car had no damage at all, not even the number plate cover got cracked. My poor Ted sustained it all.

The insurance company have been just lovely. Really really helpful. They have advised me that it won’t cost me a cent to have the repairs done and my rating won’t be affected since I’m not at fault. It’s so annoying though because it will end up costing me. I’m casually employed. I’ll need to take a day off work or more, to get it sorted. I’ve now got to be at a smash repairer at 7:30am tomorrow, when I should be at work. The woman’s cavalier attitude this morning is making me more and more annoyed the more I think about it.

So tomorrow Ted and I are off to the assessors to see if he needs a new bumper bar. Hopefully just a respray will suffice and no other damage has been done.

Lesson here is to keep your insurance up and drive carefully. In about 6 years of driving independently (once off my learners permit) I’ve had two minor crashes. One was me reversing into another car (afternoon sun shining in my face and I couldn’t see) and the other was today. My at fault accident was actually five years ago near exactly!

Missy and I were extremely lucky we weren’t injured.

Xx

Guinness Pie

My husband has recently switched over to gluten free food, as a result if feeling constantly unwell after eating. He had heaps of tests done (including for coeliacs) and they all came back negative.

Being the registered nurse I am, I switched him over to gluten free food on a hunch and it’s worked.

Now the challenge has been to find food gluten free! Besides the obvious fruit, vegetables and meat, garnishes and favourite meals such as pie, pasta and toast of course all contain gluten.

It’s become a bit of a tradition in our family that on St Patricks Day (his family is of direct Irish descent) I make a tradition beef Guinness pie and potato bread for the family. So this year is no different, however has been a challenge to find gluten free ingredients. Considering beer itself isn’t proven to be gluten free!

700gm diced heart smart beef
250ml of Guinness beer
1 cup of frozen peas and corn
1 carrot diced and pre boiled for softness
Rice flour (I find better than the combined maize and rice flour in consistency) until thickness desired
1 teaspoon of ground garlic (or 1 clove fresh)
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 mushrooms
Oregano, pepper and parsley to season
4 beef stock cubes (or less if you prefer less salty)

Then of course, gluten free puff pastry.

Now the rest of this entry is written in real time (over 40 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius, or 392 degrees Fahrenheit in a fan forced oven)

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Slow cooked over about an hour and cooled for an hour before baking

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Halfway there!

This is always the hardest part, because the house smells of delicious baking pie, but we’re not actually eating it until tomorrow night. Thankfully I’m able to occupy my time with another Irish tradition, Baileys.

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I just said to Husband “The pie looks amazeballs” and he replied “A hipster dies every time someone says that word”. Well okay then!

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Finally! Please excuse the stained oven tray, it’s clean I promise.

So there you have it, my Guinness pie. A family favourite. I hope you enjoy it too.

lá sona naomh Pádraig

xx

Afterglow

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had a real love for music. I can usually relate a situation to a song or an album, kind of like a soundtrack to a movie, but in this instance, my life. My pregnancy was heavily influenced by Fleetwood Mac’s album Rumors. A holiday to Byron Bay in 2004 was peppered by Powderfinger’s Vulture Street. My New Zealand honeymoon in 2008 is fondly recalled through Vampire Weekend’s self-titled masterpiece.

So it’s really no surprise that I’ve been to so many concerts in my time, I can’t keep track of them all. I’ve also got so many records, CDs and cassettes, a conservative estimate would be around 500. A mix of heavy metal (Rammstein, anyone?) to classical (Split Enz and the NZ symphony orchestra). I love it all.

Not being musically talented myself (I did learn the recorder as a 4th grader and spent the next few years torturing my parents and the neighbours), I can however hold a tune, I just lack the esteem or desire to do it publicly, I have spent a lifetime appreciating the craft of many talented musicians.

My favourite being New Zealand’s own (and Australia’s very much adopted) Neil Finn.

I’ve been to a Neil Finn concert (whether it be solo, or in a band) no fewer than seven times (it’s more than likely more than that) and every single time I walk away more in love with the music than before. I’ve also met the great man himself, getting my laser etched limited edition copy of True Colours autographed by the line up of Split Enz who recorded the album way back in 1979.

This week’s concert has been no different.

Regular readers will know that I haven’t had the best time of it lately. Also as any new parent would know, getting away from the baby to go to a concert isn’t always achievable either. I did manage to see Elton John in November 2012, but I did miss out on Stevie Nicks at the end of 2011 and I’m pretty sure there was someone else tucked away in there, but I’m not talking about the bands I haven’t seen in this post!

Back to Neil.

Holy moley, what an artist.

Monday night really did mean so much. I was out in the city with a dear friend. One, who our love of Crowded House actually forged our friendship as teenagers, outcasted by our school friends because Crowded House were ‘daggy’. We have both had babies in the last two years and haven’t seen much of each other. Lamenting that the last time we did see one another was in June 2012. It was a wonderful feeling of freedom to sit by the water at Sydney Harbour, sipping wine under the setting sun, just chatting like the old days. Excitedly awaiting the concert to start.

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When the time finally came for us to go into the Sydney Opera House, we were so excited, like giddy school girls. Then the lights went down and he started singing Four Seasons In One Day and I bawled my eyes out. Strange reaction maybe, considering it’s usually Message To My Girl and Distant Sun which are my tear jerkers, however here I was blubbering like a little baby hearing the words through my soul as he sang with such passion and conviction. I closed my eyes and for the first time saw black. Not surgical equipment.

Even when you’re feeling warm

The temperature could drop away

Like four seasons in one day

Seriously.

I’ve heard those lyrics a thousand times. Yet never really listened to them.

The rest of the concert continued on and was over far too quickly (even though Finn and Paul Kelly played for almost three hours). I sat in stunned silence at the beauty of Fall At Your Feet and clapped and cheered like in a mosh pit crowd at the conclusion of I Got You. My iPhone battery was flat and the memory full well before the end of the concert as I had been taking so many photos, trying to savour absolutely every moment possible.

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I went to bed that night for the first time in the longest time, actually happy. My soul felt alive and nothing could have brought me down from that high.

As I sit here today typing this out, reminiscing on the night that was, tears are welling up in my eyes again. Not for happiness, but sadness. PND and PTSD robbed me of seeing beauty in the world for the longest time. My sight was clouded by the visions of the past. Hearing the melodies again, reminded me of the Clair that once was. The one who lived for live music. The one who would get lost in an album and not resurface for weeks. The one who could see the beauty in life. Not just the bad things that happen.

I’m back to the psychologist tomorrow. A new one, not my Sarah. Fingers crossed I don’t need many more visits, however I will gladly go if they think it’s necessary. They’re the brain experts, not me. Some days I definitely feel stronger than others. My diet and exercise programme is doing really well as well, which I know is helping. It’s weigh in day today and I’m down to 73.5kg (162lbs) which I haven’t been in the longest time. I started in January at 81.8kg (180lbs). It was well before I fell pregnant even, the last time I was this light. I stared at the scales in disbelief this morning as I saw those digits pop up on the screen. I’m definitely on track to being 69kg (152lbs) by my sister in law’s wedding on 4 May. I now have to be careful not to lose too much before the wedding as my dress can only be taken two sizes in!

I hope you are having a wonderful day. I want to share some beauty with you now, thanks to YouTube

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From the 2009 Sound Relief concert in Melbourne. Feel free to swoon. I just about die of love every time I hear this beautiful melody.

xx

2013 Really May Well Be My Year

I started writing this entry earlier today, so apologies for the lack of flow.

I’m sitting here at the University, with wet jeans and boots from the rain, eagerly awaiting my buzzer to sound, so I can collect my lunch.

It’s my second day of teaching and WOW I’m loving it.

For as long as I’ve been a nurse (yes, even in my AIN and EN days), I have wanted to be a nurse educator. I have wanted to try to instill my passion for healthcare in as many people as possible, so they could have that passion too. So they can give our community the best healthcare available.

As you, who may be a regular reader of my thoughts, may know, I have been the recipient of poor healthcare. It’s really the crux of why I have this blog. I needed care, it wasn’t great, I suffered. The snowball effect really is in progress in my life. So getting into the education side of nursing for me, has now become an absolute must. I must do my best to prevent anybody else suffering as a result of poor healthcare.

…then my lunch buzzer sounded, I collected my food and continued on with my day

Which leads me to tonight. I’m now currently lying in bed with my Missy, reflecting on my day. I was teaching first year nursing students today. They were as fresh as they come. All the positivity and hope of the world, beaming out of them. I asked them questions, they answered so eagerly (and comically incorrectly) and they laughed at my attempts to joke! Maybe it was polite chuckling, but I don’t care!

I know it is only my first week, but this teaching feels so right. So natural. It’s amazing. It’s invigorating my passion for nursing too.

On that positive note, I’ve decided to participate in a challenge. Run A Mile A Day every day in the month of March. Which for my metric system friends, is 1.6 kilometres. Today I walked and ran (because I can only run 200-300 metres at a time currently) 1.15 miles (1.85km) in 20 minutes. My ankle was sore after wearing my boots to work today and I was so tired because it’s Friday. With my ankle screaming at me and my body wanting to sleep, I pushed myself through. I had to do it.

Hopefully the torrential rain we’ve had subsides by tomorrow. I’d like to get back outside and go for a run, but I don’t like my chances. Thankfully I invested in my treadmill. No excuses with Tiffiny the Treadmill watching me from the kitchen all day.

Also, so you know, I’ve lost 6.5kg (14 lbs) since coming home from our short trip to Canberra in January this year. I’ve really been pushing myself to eat well and exercise. I did sign up to the 12WBT programme, but honestly, it’s not working out for me. I am not following the exercise or diet plan at all. However the support from the website is great and I’ve met some really nice people who are doing the programme this round.

Anyway, I’ve just discovered Pretty Woman is on the television tonight, so I’m signing off to go and lose myself in Vivienne and Edward’s world.

Xx