Monday, November 29, 2010

Ready, Set, Run!

A couple of months I took up running as part of a community fitness challenge that was held at a different local park every Saturday morning for 6 weeks. The first session was a 1-mile run or walk then each week another half-mile was added to the distance. The target of all this effort was a 3.7-mile run on November 20.

Although I have shied away from running in the past I decided to give it a go this time and surprised myself at both how much I could do and how much I enjoyed it. I did the 3.7-mile race in 46:19 which is by no means a fast time (12.5 minutes per mile, for those of you playing at home) but it is a starting point and a target to beat the next time around. Now that I've started running I want to keep going.

The fitness challenge has finished but I'm going to keep training and keep working on my fitness. I'm doing a 5k run on December 4 and another in mid-January.

Yesterday I tried a fitness "boot camp" for the first time. A friend of mine has been going to these sessions and encouraged me to try it, but when I went along she never showed up... did she set me up? Anyway it was a really good workout and although I felt good yesterday, today I feel very "saddle sore" (lots of squats and other glute exercises are taking their toll).

I'm very glad to be finally getting active, working out regularly and feeling good about what I am doing to build and maintain my fitness.

Friday, August 20, 2010

I still call New Zealand home

When I first started writing this post I had just been to New Zealand, and now that was almost 5 months ago. Arrggghhh time is flying by again! Another very busy period for us. Let me break it down:

N and I went to New Zealand when Mum went home in early July. We stayed for 2 weeks and I did a lot of work around the house for Mum. Cleaning, cooking, gardening, arranging for repairs, clearing out LOTS of stuff (both inside the house and out in the garage which had hardly been touched in almost 4 years), cutting and stacking firewood... all good work and a big help to Mum. She is doing a lot better now and has a regular exercise program underway.

After the NZ trip, we moved to Tucson (Green Valley to be exact). As I write this we are still in temporary housing but we are in the process of buying a home and hope to be in it in the New Year.

New jobs at Sierrita are all going well so far. We are enjoying the opportunities that urban living bring (lots of activities for kids, places to go and things to do) while still working in mining. As assignments go this one rates very highly.

Apologies to those of you who have been waiting patiently to Skype with us - when we move into our home we will be back online and ready to chat again.

Friday, June 25, 2010

It doesn't rain (often) in Arizona, but it certainly pours...

I didn't realise it had been so long since I last wrote in my blog. It's been quite a ride the past few months. Hopefully a couple of months from now things will be more settled and back to normal - nah, who am I kidding?

Mum arrived for a visit from New Zealand in early April and soon after arriving she became quite ill. It turns out that she has heart problems that had not been diagnosed before. She had to get a pacemaker and stents put in, then when we thought that we were done with hospitals for the foreseeable future, she had a heart attack! Mama mia! Mum was due to return to NZ on June 20 but that had to be delayed because of the heart attack (which thankfully was minor, but it was still serious). When Mum is well enough to fly she will head back to NZ. N and I are planning to go back with her and stay for a few weeks, to help her out at home. Mum is doing OK at the moment, and with lots of rest and TLC we hope she will be better than ever really soon.

As if this wasn't enough to deal with (and yes, it was plenty), we are also moving! P and I are being transferred to the Sierrita mine in southern Arizona (about 40 miles south of Tucson and 40 miles north of Mexico, for those of you playing at home) next month. So while I have been taking care of Mum and dealing with the insurance company, immigration etc, P has been organising the move and trying to find a new house. We will be in temporary accommodation for a few months, which will give us some more time to find something that we are happy with.
It will definitely be a change to be living in a big city again after 3+ years in Bagdad. We've enjoyed living here; it's a good little town that has made us feel very welcome. I feel optimistic about this move and hopefully it will be as good an experience for us as living in Bagdad has been. With any luck the new place won't have as many scorpions in the house, or any rattlesnakes in the backyard - I won't miss those at all. It will be interesting to live in a different part of the state and be so close to Mexico (maybe we'll go there some time).

Sunday, February 14, 2010

He'd Give the Shirt off his Back to Help Other People

I packed up all of N's old clothes today - and I mean EVERY item of clothing he has ever owned - I kept them all - since the stork hasn't come back I decided it's time. I was deliberating over whether I should try to sell the clothes on Ebay or just give them away to charity, when N came up with the ideal solution: he wants to sell the clothes and give the money to poor people. I have tried hard to instill in him a social conscience and remind him that there are a lot of people in the world who are much worse of than we are, and it's moments like this that make me really proud to be his Mum.

The Tooth Fairy Returns

Yesterday at basketball practice N came over with his second lost tooth in his hand. It had been wiggly for a while but he decided that the time to pull it out was when they stopped for a water break at basketball practice. Last night the Tooth Fairy came and brought him his second shiny dollar coin (dollar coins aren't very common here). He says, "Only 6 more and I can buy another Bionicle!"

Pint-size Perspective: Comments on Life from the Youngest Gelfi

"Mum, Wizards of Waverley Place is on TV!"

[Are they really wizards, N?]

"No, they're just people with wands who are magical."

Friday, January 15, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all our friends wherever you are. We hope that 2010 is your best year yet, with peace, love, happiness and good health for all of us.

N's Prayer

"Dear Jesus, thank you for the wonderful food and for all the good stuff. Amen. "