WINTER

I’M STILL ALIVE

Hi all, yes it is me, I am still alive.   I have been so busy over these last few months, working full time (in 2 jobs) and trying to fit in a bit of running and the odd bit of craft work.  I haven’t had any spare time for a long time.  To be honest I think when I became unable to post pictures on to my blog, I lost a bit of interest also.  I use to add my photos via Flickr, but now that stopped working when Word Press changed their format. I wish I was more computer literate to be able to work it all out as I love using my camera and taking photos to tell a story or show something rather than just relying on your imagination.  I have had a busy old Sunday today but decided I would finally do a post at the end of this day, and also I will try to keep them up.  I do enjoy having a blog and also reading other peoples posts.

We are all ok here in little old Dunedin. We are getting through these colder days of winter, I hope you are too…. that is if you live on my side of the world in New Zealand.  Colin is doing well and still in remission, he only has to get blood tests every six months now and sees the Oncologist then.  After a couple more appointments his Oncologist is going to sign him off. = yay 🙂

Our Daughter is working hard, she just turned 24 last month, she still lives at home and is trying hard to save for a deposit for her own house.  It is very very hard for young ones to buy their own house these days as the deposit required is high, the houses are so expensive now and then you have to be able to actually pay the weekly mortgage on one wage.  She is a lovely girl, I so wish she would find someone nice to first of all have some fun, and then to settle down, have companionship and and achieve what she wants in her life.  She doesn’t go out much at all as her days off are Tuesday and Wednesdays and her work days are split shifts, working the mornings into the afternoons then she goes back to work at tea time, getting home around 9pm.   She is a hard worker and very caring, she is a home support worker.   We told her to stay living at home as long as she wants to to save her money.  She is no problem at all… I think I have written about her on my blog before.

I am still doing the same two jobs, I work 2 nights in town at a Department Store, unloading stock off pallets and sorting it for the shop.  I work those two nights until midnight which is hard.  It is heavy physical work and poor wages, but I love the staff there and working hard.  The other 3 days I work for my Brother who has his own Painting business. I have recently finished painting my very first house all by myself.  Steven said I have done a great job of the house (on the outside) and the Homeowner is very happy with it.  In painting work there is a lot of preparation work before the paint goes on.   Who said your  too old to learn new skills!

Today I volunteered at The Hospice, cleaning the patient’s rooms.  It is my 11th year as a volunteer there, I love helping them out and giving back to the community. 

After that I drove to the St Clair beach to be a crazy girl and do The Polar Plunge.  It is an annual event, I have done it a few times now.  The idea is to jump in the icy cold winters water for a play, splash, swim.  It is always in June.    I tried to talk Colin in to doing it with me this year, but no way…he said he is not that silly.  😛  I wore my bathing suit in, but this year had my shorts over the top.  Today was the longest time I have stayed in the water.  My hair is so long and thick that 5 hours later, it is still wet.  There was hundreds and hundreds of participants today, children and adults, some dressing up in costumes, some in bikinis or gumboots. Everyone laughing or screaming,  it was so much fun.  As in every other year there will no doubt be a photo in the local newspaper tomorrow and it will also be on the news on the TV tonight.   I hid in the middle of the crowd, so shouldn’t be seen, ha ha.    I think I may wear a ball gown next year or something silly.  Maybe my Brother will join me next year.

Ta ta for now

Donna

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NO HOLIDAY DAY FOR ME

ANZAC DAY

Today is a Statutory day off work for a lot of New Zealanders. The day is to observe ‘Anzac Day’.  Anzac Day represents all New Zealanders and Australians that fought or died during the war.

I am working tonight until midnight so don’t officially get a day/night off work.  I also worked last night late again and got to bed at 230 am.  Therefore I didn’t get up really early for the Dawn Parade at 6 am  any of the planned services either.  This is the first year in a long time that I have missed going.

Unfortunately I don’t have much time on my blog anymore.  With work commitments and trying to keep fit etc.  I also can’t seem to put any photos on my blog, that is frustrating as I love taking lots of photos and a picture tells a thousand stories.

This is a quick post, my Brother Steven and I were at the start line of the Motatapu Mountain Marathon event …and we were there at the end also = very happy people. We bloody well did it.

I finished in 6 hours and 6 mins, Steven coming in to the finishing shoot at 5 hours and 45 mins.   We were absolutely buggared at the end, it was hard hills, different terrains and blimmin hot ..almost 30 degrees.   We are still talking about it and smiling.

Steven and I are entering an out of town marathon this Sunday coming.  It is in Gore, a couple of hours out of Dunedin.

My hip has been playing up, maybe a Hip Flexor issue, so will keep all excercise minimal this week and rest up.

I would like to say a hello again to Beata, Jacek, Gina, Brenda and Paul, all overseas.  

That is it for now, I better get my uniform on.   🙂

BLIMELY

BUSY BEAVER

I haven’t done any posts, but still read a lot of yours and enjoy reading about people, especially those on the other side of the world.  

The months are rolling around and I never seem to have any spare time.  Any little bit of time I do have I have to use it to train for a running event which is fast approaching.  My Brother and I are competing in a event called ‘Motatapu’, it is an Off Road Mountain Marathon, yes I AM running it and not walking and Yes, IT IS 42 kms long with lots of hills/mountains to climb up, different terrains and river crossings.   It starts in Wanaka (Central Otago) and finishes at Arrowtown, near Queenstown.   Part of it is private land opened up for this day event, Shania Twain owns some of it.   

I walked this event 2 years ago on my birthday, I walked as fast as I could, it took me 6.5 hours to complete.

My Brother Steven and I have always wanted to run a Marathon, the reason I walked it two years ago is because I never ever thought I could run 42 kms let alone an off road event with hills.  Hills are not my strong point. 😛  But, in saying this Steven and I set our mind to do it 7 or so months ago, we entered this expensive event, and have been building up our runs and practising hills in preparation.

Last weekend we ran 25 kilometres with hills and two weeks prior to that ran a flat run on a Sunday for 30 kms.  That one just about killed me, it was a hot morning.  We often leave at 6 30 am on a Sunday morning as Steven has limited time and young children so we do and go when we have to.  We also try to beat the heat of the day.

We are both plodders, Steven being quicker than me.  We plan on starting  the event together in a few weeks time, travelling up Central Otago the night before and taking time off work.   Steven said at the half way mark, he will carry on ahead of me if he feels ok.  We are both very stubborn buggars, which is good in a way.   We both aim to finish, I know it is going to be a hard race, although we are not speedy or worried too much about the time.  I enjoyed the scenery walking the event last time, it is a beautiful piece of New Zealand.  At our age, it is not about times it is about finishing and doing things that we wouldn’t normally do.  I hope it all goes smoothly and I know we will be in our element once we start and the nervousness vanishes.

I walked Motatapu in 6.5 hours, so think I should be able to run it in about 6 hours, it is going to be a big day for us.  My only worry is my bowel problems and limited portable toilets along the way.   With having no large bowel, if I have to go, I have to go fast.  I will just keep my fingers and toes crossed that everything will be ok.   If I worried too much about any thing happening then I wouldn’t do or go anywhere, and I am not going to let my health problems get the better of me.or stop me.  I am going to run and walk for as long as possible.   

I have been making the odd bit of pottery over the last few months at my Art Class, I have made some pottery cross necklaces – necklaces that hang on the wall.  I have added some flowers to them, these are made out of wire.  I also made some big pottery beads.    I and a few of my fellow Artists have been invited to enter them into an Exhibition in Dunedin at a Gallery. The opening is tomorrow afternoon. I hope to be able to get a little bit of time off work to attend the opening.  I have 5 pieces in it.   They are also for sale, if they sell or some of them, I may have some extra spending money to take away.  It is quite exciting to be a part of it.  I feel lucky to be asked to be part of it. 

The cross necklaces are a little hard to explain, I will be taking my camera tomorrow, I will try to add a photo on here. I seem to have had trouble adding any photos on Word Press for some time now.  It is frustrating.  It seems to be since the format changed.  Maybe I am just a bit silly when it comes to computer stuff.  

It is raining here quite hard in Dunedin at the moment, we are on the tail of Cyclone Gita.  It has done a bit of damage in New Zealand, mainly around the Nelson area.  

This summer has been the best one we have had in Dunedin for quite some time, I wish the temperatures would stay warm forever.  Our two dogs and our three cats have all been feeling the heat, especially Chevy and Sasha who are both black in colour. 

I dislike winter so much, we are trying to sort some dry firewood out at the moment, stacking it under cover.  

That’s it from me at the moment.  Hope everyone is well.   Big hi to my Sister Brenda, Beta and Jacek in Denmark and my niece Gina. 

Love to you all.  

Donna

 

 

 

 

 

CHRISTMAS TIME

RAINY DUNEDIN

It’s raining here in Dunedin, it is still warmish though.  We badly need the rain and because we are living on a 5 acre lifestyle block we are on tank water and our own sewage.  Our water tanks need the rain 🙂  Also the ground/grass is very dry.

I can’t believe the year has just sailed by, tomorrow it will be 2018.  Our Christmas was pretty quiet, we were invited to my Brother’s house for Christmas tea, this was nice as we normally don’t do anything.  It was the first time in years that we have been invited somewhere as we don’t have much family left.  

It was a little awkward going to my Brothers and Sister-in-laws as all of her family were invited too and we don’t know them.  Most of them spoke to us.  Steven, our Daughter and now Steven’s Daughter have all got Coeliac Disease therefore there was quite a few options of food we could eat.  I made a Gluten Free Lime Tart, Ambrosia pudding, Colin made Pistachio Fudge and also a Cheese Ball and crackers. He has never made Fudge before. it was expensive to make, probably fattening but who cares…it was yummy.  They went to a lot of effort.

The weather wasn’t the nicest so we all had to stay inside.  I can’t remember the last Christmas Day we have had with the weather actually being nice?  Brenda, our Sister would have had hot weather over in Australia on Christmas Day.  Brisbane always seems to be hot.  I have now come to the conclusion that she won’t be coming home to live any time soon.  She loves it over there and I  am glad she is happy.  I do miss her a lot. 

I am working today/tonight at Kmart, only until 9pm instead of the usual midnight.  It’s Christmas Eve, but I don’t care about that.  I have been there, done the parties for New Years heaps when I was younger.   I will be happy to see the night in doing my knitting.

I still can’t add photos to my blog, I have no idea what is happening or what has changed on WordPress, that is partly the reason why I haven’t done a blog post for ages.

Two days ago Steven and I went for a long run, just over 21 kms.  It was lots and lots of hill trail type running.  I am trying to improve my slow running up the hills.  We were both poked afterwards, but happy 🙂  Considering I still have hamstring insertion problems and a slight Bakers Knee still.   I go to physio once a week at the moment. I am going to try Acupuncture by a Chinese Professional next week to see if that helps.  Steven goes and sees him and says he is great, fingers crossed. 🙂

I better get my uniform on for work and try and find a park in town.   

Enjoy your day and New Years Night.   

Happy New Year and wishing you a happy and healthy 2018

Donna

 

 

 

 

A LONG TIME AGO

I AM STILL ALIVE

Hi all, it has been a long time since I have done a post on my blog.  The format on Word Press seems to have changed and I seem to struggle trying to get any photos added now.  I have tried a few times and then flagged it.

I have been working hard, painting with my Brother 2 days a week, we have been renovating an old Villa in Dunedin. I have been learning to scrape and sand windows, painting them and general hands on helping where I am able. I have been enjoying the physical and varied work and also being with my Brother as we lost touch for a few years.  He offered to help me out with a couple of days work after I left my full time office job.  He could see I tried for over 70 jobs without success.  I also have ‘casual on-call’ work at Kmart for November and December as they are very busy prior to Christmas.  Most of the shifts are from 330pm until midnight.  It knocks the body around a bit as I get to bed around 2am.  

At least I have a nice boss with my Brother Steven (he buys me the odd coffee and GF cake as we are both Coeliacs).  And Kmart are a great crew to work with, mostly young students but I get on well with the young adults as I think I am a bit immature and like a laugh.

Steven and I competed in an off road running event last Sunday, it was suppose to be 21kms but ended up being 23kms as they sent us on an extra lap of the beach at the start. It was hard yakka, with lots of hills, running up through Farmers paddocks, gravel roads, sand, tussocks.  Awesome scenery.  I did have an accident falling over 10kms from the start.  I tripped on a rock and face planted the gravel road.  A young chap (from my Harrier’s Club) picked me up.  I landed on my forehead, nose, both elbows and both knees.   I thought I had broken my nose. I had a mouth of gravel.  I had a quick cry and then carried on the rest of the 13kms to the finish.  There was no way that I was going to stop then and not finish.   I am so stubborn.

The first aid people checked me out when I saw them  around 5kms later.  Since then, where one of my knees was bashed I have a big lump behind the knee. I went to the Doctor as it was huge and sore.  It turns out I now have a ‘Bakers Cyst’= Buggar.

I am now on antibiodicts, hoping it will go away on it’s own and hopefully not bursting.  I may need a needle in it to drain the fluid away or a scan.  Fingers crossed it just goes away on it’s own.  The painkillers I have help a bit, I hate taking extra medication but have to.  I take enough pills each day with being low of vitamins etc with having Coeliac Disease and also having no large bowel.   But I have to do what the Doctor says and be patient and wait to heal.  I am really enjoying the running (jogging) rather than walking.  Walking might be safer though 😛

I must say Steven, my Brother did a really good time finishing around 9th.  I was 1st Place in the Masters Woman category, ….and I wasn’t lastoverall, I had 6 people behind me, even running with a smashed up face.  What a clumsy clot I am.  🙂

I’M STILL ALIVE

FINALLY, SOME SPARE TIME !

Wow wee, a lot has happened over the last few weeks.  I just don’t seem to have had much spare time at all to do a post on my blog.  It is frustrating, it is not from a lack of not wanting to.   I have still been busy looking for an ideal job.  It is so hard, there is not much about at all. I am getting kind of desperate and would do anything, as long as I had a decent boss and worked with nice people.

Over the last couple of months I have been doing some cleaning work, but it seems to have dwindled to about 5 -7 hours a week.  This is obviously not enough money to pay the bills and mortgage.  I was in full time work (40 hours) prior to leaving my office position.  

A few weeks back I applied for a job on Mondays and Fridays, as a courier driver.  There was lots of applicants, but I got it, yay … finally I thought I had 20 hrs guaranteed on these two days.  I did 3 weeks training working 10 hour days starting at 6am.  Then I had 2 days on my own.  I was getting use to the running around, driving all over North Dunedin, but then the Owner Driver who employed me cut my hours back from 2 to 1, as she couldn’t afford to pay me!!!!   Then she decided that I wouldn’t be paid for the 4 & 1/2 days training.   I was in shock, these were 6am starts and 10 hour days.  😦  I am really sad that she is unreliable, selfish and obviously dodgy.  Why would she even advertise in the newspaper for someone if she couldn’t afford it? It is highly illegal to not pay someone for training, especially for days rather than hours, also not to give me a contract when I kept asking.  Such a shame, but I had to tell her to forget about her ‘so called job’.   I also told her to pay me what is due before the end of the month.  I probably won’t get my money, but will try.   There are some selfish, dishonest people out there.  I could never, ever do that to someone.

So here we are again, looking for another job to add to the cleaning work.  I have applied for so many now. I will keep trying. 

On a happier note, my Brother Steven and I run the half marathon race that we have been training for.   It was a week ago.   I don’t really care about finishing times, but I did surprise myself with crossing that finish line 10 seconds under 2 hours.   Yay, I think I am still on a high from completing it.  It was just over 15 years ago that I run the 21 kms distance.   Steven came in before me, around 6 mins.    Next year if we do it, I will try and beat him.  😛  Everyone also received a medal for the first time, as it was 30 years that the sponsor – Cadburys had sponsored the event.  It is our Harriers Club that runs this event annually.  We had great numbers of entries this year.

Over the weekend we have had two baby lambs born, they are very cute.  The second one was born yesterday and is smaller than the first baby.  I have been worried about them today as we have had heavy rain for most of the day.  I am sure Mummy sheep will look after them and try to protect them from the elements.   

I can’t wait until Winter/Autumn is over.  We have had so much rain this year.  Roll on spring.  

 

 

CHICKEN GOES ROGUE

CHICKEN GOES WALKABOUT

Hi all, firstly apologies for no blog post for a while.   I have still been trying to find a good job, although I have been doing the odd few hours of cleaning in the meantime.  Hours are only a few, and I have to sometimes go out 3 x times a day to the odd 1hr cleaning job…and work at night for the odd hour job also.  The petrol in my car is costing a fortune, not to mention disrupting my whole day and night with minimal money coming in.  I was use to (and needed) receiving 40 hours pay, now I am only getting 10 to 14 hours a week on minimum wage.  I have applied for over 35 jobs now and also have rung lots of business’s and also gone in to some.

I came close to getting a nice Cafe job in a little suburb, a lovely vintage looking Cafe that does high teas and uses vintage china tea cups and plates etc for their customers.  It was between two of us, the Manager ended up taking the young girl that already has Barista experience.  I understand where she is coming from, but I was still disappointed.  I will keep on trying though.

On a happier note, I have been trying to build up my running/training for a couple of events, one being a half marathon in 5 or so weeks.  Also I have competed in a couple of Walking events with my Harriers Club recently.  

One was a 10 km race last Saturday, it is a great popular event that is handicapped. I received a huge handicap again of 16 minutes (drat), it is horrible having to wait that long after the first walker leaves on zero minutes.   There was no way I could reach the front ones, although I tried and ended up being the Fastest Female time and also 2nd Fastest overall.  There is no certificate or anything for that though.   I was second last to leave the start line and a ‘race’ walker left behind me. He is so fast and in a different league.   The idea of the handicaps is to give everyone a chance of winning the event, I think this is ideal for all and in good fair spirits.  But sometimes the Handicapper (I hate that word, but that is what they are called) gets it a little wrong, I think myself and the other young 17 year old Race walker behind me were given handicaps a little too large.  

The idea is everyone should be coming up to the finish line at a similar time, that is if the handicaps are worked out correctly.  They were a little off, but I don’t really care, as I did a good time overall for me for the 10 kms and I am happy as I tried my best as I do, and I finished upright.  I loved the event on a nice day. I was chuffed the lady that won is recovering from a brain tumour, she so deserves it and is a good wee walker.  The win and trophy will give her a boost. 🙂

Yesterday I marshaled at a Running Road Race down the Peninsula, it was so damn cold, the Marshall’s were there for over 3 hours in high winds and bitter coldness.  I loved seeing the runners and my Club did well, but I froze and couldn’t wait to get home.   I want to run the event next year.

This coming weekend is another Running and Walking Road Race from Clyde to Alexandra in Central Otago.  My Athletics Club goes up every year, it is a big day out, getting home on the bus quite late at night.  I will walk it this year, it’s 10 kms, but next year I want to run it.  It will be a fun club day out.  Also in 5 weeks time I am competing in a Half Marathon, 21 kms of Running (yes not walking this year).  I have trying to pick up a few training runs in preparation as it has been around 15 years since I run one.  And I am a lot older now a days.  Think I might be a tad faster, (although still a plodder :P) than years ago when I did it.

I have trying to fit these little training runs in between the hour long cleaning jobs and applying for jobs.

Colin and our Daughter are full of the nasty flu/cough going around.  I have never seen them so sick, it is awful.  The coughing affects the whole household too, not sleeping etc.  All they can do is try to sit it out, drink fluids, rest etc and wait for it to buggar off.  It is going around Dunedin really badly at the moment….I don’t want it.

Today I feel happy, although tired now zzzzz.  I got lots achieved around home.  It has been so wet this winter and hard to get outside.

This morning I:

  • went for a 12 km run with my Brother Steven , doing road and off road running and hills
  • washed Colin’s and my car
  • did heaps of washing
  • pulled a few weeds out the garden
  • then tackled cleaning the guttering on the house, I have only done half the house, climbing high up the ladder.

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We have been a bit slack, the guttering should be cleaned out prior to winter, every year, but hasn’t been done for about 2 years. You can imagine the sludge in there.  Yuck.  Hard standing on a ladder and holding your arms up trying to get your hands into a narrow space.   At least I have started it, half done 🙂  Colin had a 2 hour sleep while I started it as he is so knackered with this flu.

While I was up the ladder I noticed lots of eggs under a plant in front of the house.  We have one chicken (hen ) that wanders around the paddocks every day, we clip her wing but she still gets out of the coop somehow everyday.   We now know where she lays her eggs.  I thought our dogs must be finding them and eating them as they love the eggs, and it makes their coats so shiny.

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Couldn’t believe it.   Colin laid them out on the driveway.   We gave the two top eggs to the dogs to eat, I think there is around 36 of them.  We all found it funny.   Such a waste though.  At least now we know where to look daily.   We left one marked egg still there in the same place so she still lays there and hopefully not a new place.

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Last, but not least, I will add a few pics of my first woodworking project I made.  Out of recycled timber we had.  A crate for our potatoes to live in in our pantry/scullery.  I painted it mint green and even did an old vintage look stencil on it.  I reworked some skateboard wheels onto the bottom of it too rather than castors.  Apart from not been able to tighten all the gaps/screws etc properly, it turns out ok for my first attempt.  

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Bye for now.   Donna

 

 

 

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