updating oneself

In having decided to do the 12wbt (12 week body transformation) as a way to motivate me to up the exercise from the occasional 6 to 10km walk 3 times a week to everyday as well as finding food to eat and prepare that tastes good and I can cook for farmer as well. I think the way Michelle bridges has done her program, it clever and entrepreneurial to say the least.

When you go to the site it tells you when the next 12 weeks are going to run, so you can do the pre-work up tasks, where you need to ‘get real’ with yourself, Introduce yourself, set goals and many other tasks one does. Once the date of the 12 weeks commences you are in the program. This is a great way of maximizing dollars and value not only to the signees but also to the Michelle Bridges team. It captures a vast market of people and can track results and give as accurate amount of information statistically as possible.

I am liking the food options, they are tasty, easy to cook and the recipes are done for two, I add more to accommodate the farmer and his daily activities. He would do more incidental exercise than anyone I know. I would hesitate to guess that even feeding out to all of the cattle he would walk over 5 to 6 km’s. He loads the hay, drives it to where the mobs are, sets the Ute in four-wheel drive and he gets out, cutting the ties and pulling off hay in sections as the vehicle moves along so that it all doesn’t fall in the one place. he does this with every bale. Most days I am sure that he would beat my 6km walk on the treadmill.

In updating oneself I laughed yesterday as I updated the IPod, whilst doing the book work. I uploaded some of my CD’s and then made a play list ‘complete 80’s” sadly going backward to go forward. I found some ‘Go West’ a bit of ‘Huey Lewis and the News’ ‘Sister Sledge’ and many more. So one thinks is this going backward or is it moving forward, some of the music I downloaded was played at the Steps classes I use to attend to. 12 WBT has not started yet, so I am going through with the tasks – “Get real” is confronting and interesting, you have to come up with the excuses you give yourself for not exercising and then you have to give yourself the solution. According to Michelle “being too busy” is the greatest one used and the biggest cop-out, just get up earlier she says but as we know sometimes that is hard, that can be a precious hour in bed.

Is this my motivation to motivate myself? I don’t know but I feel better eating better and cooking meals that are tasty and don’t require lengthy preparation times. It is a calorie based food choices, which is something I haven’t done before. Oh well I have 5 more weeks to go till it actually starts, I wonder how many people who join are doing what I am doing – getting meal ideas from the site and cooking them. It will be interesting to see if there are any statistics that demonstrate a loss of weight and increased fitness occurs leading up the to the start date. Anyway the colour run – here I come.

I’m Bored.

We were lucky enough yesterday to have friends drop in and spend the day with us, they have two boys and one brought a friend. The youngest two seated themselves on the couch and happily played with electronic toys and games (until the power ran out). we then got power and commenced lunch. It is nice to share a day with a good girlfriend and seeing as we had such great weather it was also lovely to sit outside.

Her husband and teenage son went in search for the farmer if for nothing else but to assist him and for male company. So the BBQ was cooked, wine poured, beer cans opened and then it was time to sit, but from the inside of the house came a statement I haven’t heard for a while “I’m bored”. I did laugh and I wasn’t surprised how two country boys who are normally active can sit for hours without being bored. “Ok” I said and went and got a cricket bat and tennis balls, “come on time for backyard cricket then.”‘ With happy faces they came out side and looked at the lawn “we don’t have wickets” “yes use the tin can for one and the step-ladder for the other.”I ventured, necessity being the mother of invention also I didn’t think they needed to be inside watching a DVD which was the next option.

So off they started, it wasn’t long till the teenage boy joined in and then the farmer. The farmer was a great cricketer in his youth and won many awards for his ability. So the afternoon started to shape up to become a little more fun for the boys, Dad of 2 boys joined in and then myself and their mum, here is where it became competitive. It reminded me of my brothers and the fun I had on the beach as a young girl playing cricket. Once the farmer started hitting balls all over the place, rules came in – 6 and out was to hit it on the roof, into the dog kennels or any other place that required a concentrated effort to retrieve the ball. Once the boys gained confidence but also lost stamina, they would like to sit till they considered it their turn to bat, so the rule came in, no fielding, no batting and bowling didn’t count.

We then went to one hand one bounce and then ”tippygo’ I was never good at batting but played anyway – I got six and out for hitting the ball onto the roof where it still sits today.  but I am happy to field. There was shouts of “bum before”  similar to “leg before” but different you can get the picture, no shouts of LBW more of “run just run” “don’t forget to say crease” and lots and lots of laughter. Self stumping was also a problem when it was discovered the stumps would somehow be moved into the batters crease. The adults outlasted the children and it was a fun time had by all. It is a great way to spend an afternoon, good friends, good food, good wine and enough exercise to break up the afternoon.

They all ended up staying for dinner and a couple of the neighbours called over for a drink. The two young boys, ready to go home and happily packed up their things and went as soon as they were asked. We talked about easter and making some ‘stumps’ for when they came then. I love days like these and the people who come to enjoy our company, I could do with more of them, it is nice to have friends who understand the isolation of the country, the work load of the farmer and the need to come offer help and then once the jobs have been done, time to sit relax and enjoy life.

On a good day

It’s one of those days, I’m a tad over it already (started blog at 745am) and have been since I was woken 3 times during the night. We have very active cats that now the cool has come in, are finding those little animals that need protection from them. It also involves an old dog that finds it difficult to get up to go to the toilet, so needs to be lifted on to all fours and then the contents of his bowels picked off the floor and both deposited outside, then we have a farmer who for the last 4 or more weeks has taken not to sleep much after 4am. He finds comfort in the radio so puts it on and drifts in and out of sleep, me the same it’s not relaxing at all.

I am recovering from the flu and from our state Government election, you know the one, it’s unwelcome and hangs around for long periods of time being nothing but a headache and stagnant. The flu on the other hand can be slept off, medications added and generally can take a couple of days off work and it seems to move on. Both wear you out and you never get an end result you want, yet the flu can leave you feeling fatigued, with a persistent cough and general lethargy.

It has been dry here and I know the work load of feeding stock hay every second day is a lot of work on top of the farmers work and he doesn’t sleep, we need rain to wet the paddocks and to allow things to grow. The paddocks look bare due to the livestock living on it and eating what little stumps are left. We are looking to grow our business and am working hard to make this happen and like the climate, some things are out of our control whilst we wait on outside influences to make decisions. It will get better we know it always does, but getting there is sometime hard. There are countless days of feeling frustrated, no matter how hard one works its like elections & the flu, no real outcome, no renewal and no moving forward, I know once we jump a few more hurdles it’s all going to be ok.

I have opted to do the Michelle Bridge 12wbt starting in May and one of her things is to say out loud why you can’t exercise and saying your too busy isn’t really a good enough excuse. Get up early if you work, well can I tell you I am up early and some nights 3 or more times, through not fault of my own. I also started today with – can you cut my hair, this is at 730am so I did, then it’s a quick bite to eat and into cleaning the floors and ridding the house of the smell of cat urine. I have only half finished but it’s going to be a long day today and a difficult one if I stay in the mood I am in. I know all I need is a good nights sleep and I can’t exercise with the smell of cat around me so the exercise part is looking closer to being done this afternoon. Have a good day people.

Happy Anniversay

It was an extremely hot day and a long weekend in March that we got married at the farm. It was a great party and we had people we love come and celebrate with us. I wore boots he wore sandals, mine were made in white leather by R M Williams specially fitted.

All my family were there expect youngest brother who was in England at the time, my daughter and twin sister my witnesses, my 3 nieces (I only had three at the time) did small speeches and then signed the papers leaning on a hay bale we were married. It thankfully cooled down during the evening and we were left to enjoy the evening.

As I say to people “he’s my first husband and I am his last wife”, I still enjoy his company and have adapted and changed to fit into the life of being a farmer’s wife. I do work but not full-time anymore and I live here with him rather than travel to and from the city. The worst part of this is I miss my daughter who lives and works in the city and always look forward to visiting with her when I am in the city.

We sat outside last night sharing a drink and talked about our years together, he measured it by saying I have been with him through 3 droughts (we are still in drought as I type) Pete my golden retriever came to live on the farm and he has outlived 4 of his working dogs and a 21 yr old cat, only god knows how many chooks have come and gone in this time. We still have 3 working dogs and 4 cats, as I sit and type Gatsby has decided to climb behind me and push me off the chair. Pete has been put outside in disgrace, he has arthritis which limits his ability to get up quickly thus he is having ‘accidents’ before he gets up (something I am getting very tired of cleaning up). It amuses me that whilst I am cleaning it up farmer walks down the passage holding his nose. The irony here is that he happily preg tests cows, delivers animals and generally can come home often covered in unimaginable animal body fluids etc and the smell from the dog sends him away.

We don’t really celebrate in the traditional sense, mind you it is one of the first times we have not had people come and stay for the long weekend, but then I have done some small things to let him know I appreciate him and think of him, on Friday night I did a favourite dish of his, oysters Kilpatrick and oysters Thai sauce that a little Asian man told me once whilst I was buying oysters from him. Yesterday he got a frog cake a South Australian classic – very sweet but yummy. Tonight he is getting a lovely dinner cooked and prepared by me.

One thing I have liked over the last 7 years is our ability to laugh at things, we do many things together, we argue but we move on. I am not a grudge holder neither is he, he has brought many things to my life and I value his part in it. 7 is Wool – we have enough sheep and lambs, 7 is Copper I wear little jewelry and this sort turns your skin green and in modern times it’s a desk set – what a load of rubbish. I wish for the gift of happiness, rain and many more shared times with friends and family

Here is a picture of my Oysters


Awkward conversations

Doesn’t life change quickly? I feel the older I am getting the quicker it’s passing. I have been dealing with people who as they are aging have not taken time or thought to plan for this process. I have had to engage in conversations that I wasn’t really prepared for nor were they invited by the recipients. But they have to be said, it has made me look at my life moving in the direction of getting older and starting to put things in place now.

There is so much for people to consider when they get into this time of their lives, living alone and being independent is great and thankfully we have services that enable people to be at home longer and more are in their own home. But I have been asked the question “the Dr says I can go home (from hospital) as soon as I am back being independent, what does that mean?” Not such a silly question if you have been unwell admitted to hospital having hurt a knee and then once over the acute stage find it difficult to walk unaided or unassisted. I explained by saying it is hard for Dr’s and nurses to let patients go home if they can not walk, can not shower without help or cook. “Well, I am a terrible cook, have a shower over the bath (70’s style) and I can’t walk, it’s a shit you know.” “yes it is, lets talk about getting you assessed for care then?”

This then leads into the nursing home talk, respite care, independent living opportunities and I do understand people want to die in their own homes so put things in place that enable you to do this. Ensure you have bathrooms big enough to get chairs in to sit on while bathing, or wheel chairs. Having been with another relative whilst they were being assessed in their own homes, bathrooms and toilets are the biggest obstacle next to front entrance steps or two stories homes that prevent people staying in their homes. The assessing people no longer advocate $30,000 bathroom renovations unless it’s done with forward selling in mind, this means that it is practical, usable and modern enough for people not to notice it was designed for wheel chairs and two people to come in and bathe the owner. They suggest putting false floors and ramps in shower cubicles to ‘cover the lip’ so the client does not trip, this can be removed after the clients leave.

Doing up a bathroom with a shower over the bath is not only a great idea but practical, but now we have to go down the track of determining if this is the right course of action or if it is time to sell the property and moved into an independent living unit, I am advocating for the later.  These are the conversations one has to have regardless of whether the recipient takes on anything you say or that they ignore you, they are must haves and they are exhausting. Once things get said then actions need to happen, so moving to this stage is also challenging.

Life Changing people

I haven’t written for a while, many things have been going on and sometimes really personal things are only shared with family. It’s nothing dramatic but they involve family who need to have a voice of an advocate rather than a bias (own perspective) opinion. Also something’s need to remain ‘in-house’ when you are involved and they don’t involve you.

I want to talk about a person I met who is intoxicating, inspirational and just someone you know you want to have in your life no matter how long or short that time is. There have only been a handful of these people in my life where being in their presence is consuming, exciting, loving, exhilarating and leaves you wanting more, I gave birth to one , I married one and then I have met others whom we shared different times and relationships. Sometimes they leave when the feeling disappears or they find others who stimulate them more, they are not necessarily opposite sex based. Attraction takes many forms, intellectual, work based, sex based and are not always opposite sex based.

I am actually going to talk about Gill Hicks today, after hearing her speak at a UN International Women’s Day breakfast yesterday in Adelaide. For those of you who have never seen her speak if you ever get the chance to see her, run to it for it really is life changing, her humility and presence kept a room of over 2300 people quiet. For those that do not know this name she is the Australian survivor of the 2005 London bombings where she lost both her legs below the knees and lives to teach us all about forgiveness and peace.

Her journey started at the moment she realized she had a choice, looked at her injuries and had to be her own ‘first responder’ then wait for the rescuers to get her out of her seat. It was fitting to hear the first one who came to her was one woman (ambulance officer) who disobeyed orders and entered the zone to start treating the injured (they are still friends today). Gill makes jokes about herself and those people to whom she holds in the highest  places of her heart that got her to the hospital despite the gravity of her situation, the Dr’s who worked out a system to take her from “unknown estimated female” to becoming Gill Hicks, then to fit her with artificial legs that have given her a life she feels she was chosen to do.

There is no hatred or self-pity in her voice or actions, she told us it was the wrong moment in time for everyone that day. She talks of her love and collection of vintage shoes prior to the bombing and then the steely determination to become a mum, this part of the story brought me to tears,  I looked around the table and I wasn’t the only one. Her story becomes more poignant when she was given the Australian of the year award in England and she made a speech that had everyone holding their breath. She said during that speech that she realized she would never again feel Australian soil under her feet,  the sand under her toes, feel the warmth and cold of the sea as it laps her ankles nor ever sit on a bar stool wearing thongs. There was no tone here, it was her statement of sadness of longing for the things she will never feel again.

She moves directly into her life now as a peace advocate, a mother and a survivor and encourages us all to become part of the solution. She places pictures throughout her story and shows us a video she is most proud of – which is posted on her website You CAN, Doves can’t.

Lastly she left us with this saying from her mother and which she had added to

Someone, Somewhere is Feeling the effects of something YOU have said or done

I stood to clap her, then when possible I asked my girlfriend to take me to meet her, I am lucky enough to know one of her good friends who came to breakfast with me. There she was surrounded by politicians talking and hugging people. I was awe-struck and she was gracious when I introduced myself and thanked her. It was fleeting but it was enough for me, I also walked past the Ex Prime Minister Julia Gillard and dozens of school children trying to get their photos with Julia to get to meet this lady. I felt and understood the adoration for Julia but thought perhaps she could have had a bit more class and moved herself and the photographers away from area to allow Gill to be congratulated on her amazing life and story of love, forgiveness and peace.

To finish, Gill, Angelina Jolie does not hold a candle to your courage, determination, ambassadorship for peace, inner and outer beauty. She would be in awe of you and the amazing life you chose to be a part of and share and I hope our paths cross again soon.