Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Hump day week 3 :)

This week is flying past at a rapid rate, I can't believe that it is Wednesday already and another weekend in looming.  This weekend is going to be big for me, I have the wedding and my nephews 18th.  I said to the Groom "just imaging how much money you're going to save by me not drinking at you wedding".  He laughed! 

I thought this FebFast was going to be extremely difficult for me and I bet you thought you would be checking in each night to see just how traumatised I was by not drinking but in fact, I'm actually doing OK!  I'm not craving it any more and its not on my mind every minute after 6pm.  It's probably helping that I'm working my butt off and I'm not getting home before 6:30pm most nights and then flying into the kitchen to prepare dinner, then feed the kids, then get them sorted for bed.  By that time I'm exhausted and I sit down to a cup of tea.  I don't even think about the wine anymore (OK, maybe I'm telling a little white lie there).  I do think about it, but it is very fleeting. 

I thought I would have loads more energy and be bounding out of bed in the morning, but that is just not the case.  I'm still bleary eyed and headachey but I come good after my morning coffee. 

I was talking to a friend the other day and she has been doing an elimination diet.  She is up to day 26 and she is abstaining from alcohol, coffee, sugar and carbs.  I don't know how she is doing it!  Far out, nobody would dare try and take my morning coffee off me at the moment.  Cutting one major thing out of my diet is more than enough thank you very much, I really don't think I could cut coffee as well.  And sugar, thats what I'm craving the most.  Obviously there must  be a lot of sugar in wine because my body is looking for a sugar hit after we've had dinner.  So, I partake in desert with the kids.   You know that 2kgs I lost, yeah well I found it again!

Changing the subject here now.  I want to know how working mums out there manage their time in the week!  My hours have increased at work and I'm now doing about 27hrs a week.   I know thats not really that much in the big scheme of things but, I can't get on top of my housework.  I have about 4 loads of washing to fold and put away, 1 load in the washing machine and 1 load in the dryer.  The floors need a vac and a mop and the bathrooms all need cleaning.   I'm supposed to be folding the washing now while my kids aren't here but instead I thought I would take the opportunity to write my blog so that I don't have to do it later tonight when my eyes are falling out of my head.  Last night was like that, thats why it was "short and sweet".   I need a cleaning fairy.......... yeah right! that's not going happen any time soon.

I haven't taken any photos for ages.  Its because I'm not getting home till late so I'll have to go back through some old ones.  I'll see if I can find one of me and Mary back in the day so you can have a giggle. 

Here's one.  This is on top of Mt Warning in 199?  We walked up in the dark so that we could watch the sunrise but what do you know the cloud was in the way.  Still beautiful.. This is Adam and I, Mary and Andy and our friends Gav and Cindy.  We lived the best life.  Still do, just different.

 There is a huge storm coming tonight so I better go batten down the hatches. Stay safe everyone. 

Cheers xx


Monday, 16 February 2015

A thing of the past



I found this image on a google and I instantly thought of Mary, because one day she will be able to make this statement and MS for Mary will be a thing of the past.  I asked her the other day what was she most looking forward to when she got home from Russia and  recovered from her treatment.  The thing that resonated with me most was  that she really wanted to wear a pair of thongs and walk in them without falling over.  Its the little things that we well folk take for granted like walking in thongs that mean the most to her and I understand that. I don't even think about it when I throw on a pair and wander down the street but for her its not even an option.   I plan on buying a very fancy pair for her when she gets back.

Mary has quite the journey in front of her with this HSCT treatment and her trip to Russia.  I certainly don't envy the path she is about to travel but once she gets to the end of that path it will have been a journey well worth the effort and I am so proud of her, she is such a brave woman who I respect and admire so much.   I think the thing that would make me the most nervous if it was me, would be traveling on my own and being in a foreign country for three months without family or friends.  Mary's body will be stripped of all its immunity and will be in a very vulnerable position.  She cannot afford to get sick and so they will put her in an isolation ward where she will have very little contact with anyone.  Once she comes home to Australia she will still have months of rehabilitation to undertake and numerous visits to her Neurologist in Adelaide before she can say she has recuperated and what will that recuperation be? How good are the results of the HSCT treatment going to be for Mary?  Who knows!  That my friends is the million dollar question.  We can only hope that when she does come home and after months of recovery she will be able to walk in thongs, she will be able to go out dancing, she will be able to walk on the beach, she will be able to pick up her daughter without the fear that she is going to fall down.

Multiple Sclerosis sucks and I don't even have it! 

I found out today of some other famous Aussies who have and are suffering from MS.  Did you know that Tim Ferguson from the Doug Anthony All Stars has MS?  No me either.  This is his book that he wrote a couple of years ago.  I haven't read  it but he is  a very funny man.
You can do stand-up comedy or you can do sit-down comedy.
Tim Ferguson, on performing with Multiple Sclerosis.[5]

Another surprise which, I'm sure many of you know already but I didn't so I'll share.  Chrissy Amphlet (RIP) frontwoman of the Australian rock band Divinyls.Chrissy died in 2013 after a long battle with breast cancer and multiple sclerosis.[4]

 "You spend a lot time in cold machines... hospital beds, on your knees praying for miracles, operating rooms, tests 
after tests, looking at healthy people skip down the street like you once did and you took it all for granted and now wish you could do that.
                                                                                             Chrissy Amphlett 


If you have more questions or know of any one who needs more information on MS click on this link to MS Australia its got loads of great info there.

Cheers xx

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Living in Paradise

How good is family?  I love mine even if they are all just a little on the crazy side.  They are honest, caring and undeniable the best family I could hope for.  I have had a fabulous weekend without booze enjoying time with my husband, my parents, my sister and good quality time with my children and nephews.  I laughed hysterically whilst climbing trees with my sister, had to discipline my son and my nephew for telling lies to get out of trouble for spending money at the shop on lollies when they knew they weren't allowed to and feeling my heart swell with happiness as we all (including the dog) walked along the beach this morning.  I am very grateful for such a beautiful life which is filled with wonderful people who mean the world to me.    Who needs alcohol when we are living in Paradise!

Sunday is usually my afternoon where I get together with my awesome friend to sort out our week of car pooling.  It is usually done very ceremoniously over a bottle of cold Sav Blanc whilst jotting down in our diaries the weeks planning for our children with school drop offs, trampoline training, run club, band practise and of course our own work rosters.  You can see why we need a bottle of Sav Blanc now can't you?  But today is different, no wine! Not even a glass of water or cup of coffee. We managed to get through it pretty quick today because she had book club to get to and a bottle of chardonnay to drink (lucky girl).  We did however put in the diary for Sunday the 1st of March to have a cold bottle of bubbles to celebrate my sobriety whilst sorting out our calenders. 

I've realised over the last two weeks just how much I have relied on and enjoyed alcohol and I have no doubt that once the month is over I will go back to enjoying a drink but I do believe that I will have more control over when I drink and I will not let it creep back into my life as an every day treat.  I will only drink on weekends and maybe not every weekend either.  I know that I will still need to show restraint and be strong and believe that there is more to life than drinking.  Its so easy to reason with myself as to why its OK but in fact on the weekends when I'm drinking I have less time for my kids which I've just realised and that makes me a little sad.   Last night we sat on the couch;  me, my sister, my mother and my husband with all of our children watching u-tube videos and old Michael Jackson film clips "giving our kids an education" my sister said.  It was lots of fun believe it or not, lots of giggles and the kids were involved and interacting.  If alcohol were present in the evenings proceedings then I dare say the kids would have been shooed off to bed whilst we sat out side drinking and talking shit!  So I prefer the first option of u-tube, kids and chocolate.  Much more wholesome. 

So I survived my second weekend, and I know I only have one more full weekend of sobriety to go before I can re-commence my addiction.  Will I be strong enough to be a better person and drink less?  I sure hope so.  I think so.  I better learn to meditate.  I've started chanting but I'll tell you more about that another day.

I hope you all enjoyed Mary's Blog, isn't she gorgeous? Although she made me sound like an exhibitionist back in the day which, truth be told I probably was, maybe I still am a little bit but hey, I'm not hurting anyone and whats wrong with being naked any way? 

Enjoy week 3.  I've got to go and play Star Wars Monopoly with my boys.

Cheers xx

Friday, 13 February 2015

Half Way

Well I have to say last night was without doubt the hardest night yet! My sister and my mum have come up for the weekend and normally when that happens my beautiful sister and I sit up drinking till late in the night talking rubbish and drinking way too much.

It started at 3pm yesterday afternoon when the devil in disguise Sim (my sister) sent me a txt asking if we really couldn't drink this weekend and that my next blog could be "how I fell off the wagon". I responded with "no, no, no, no, no, no"! She didn't bring the usual carton of cider thank God, mum bought a bottle of wine. Then dad turned up and the question was asked to Adam, "wheres the beer"? Adam had two cold mid strengths in the fridge which Dad and Sim quickly swallowed and a warm six pack in the cupboard which was put in the freezer at a rapid rate and I'm sure you can guess where they ended up once they were cold? In their bellies! Adam was very restrained and at least waited until dinner time before he cracked and had a wine and then a rum.

I love it when my sister visits and I love our boozy catch ups but yesterday afternoon sitting on the deck as the sun was setting watching my Mum, Dad and Sister all enjoying a lovely cold drink and Adam contemplating a rum I actually got a bit pissed off at them all, I may well have even called them a bunch of A-holes. it felt weird not having a drink in my hand, almost un-natural. I thought about getting up and going for a walk but instead I went and pegged out a load of washing while mumbling something under my breath as I walked away. I don't know why I was cranky at them, this was my choice and I don't expect them to not drink just because I'm not but the urge to drink last night was so great and it took a lot for me not to have one. Thankfully Sim didn't bring anything else to drink because the beer ran out very quickly and then she couldn't drink anyway. So there!

It really was a tough afternoon. I drank Budrim ginger cordial and soda which was lovely but I honestly thought about sneaking in a little shot or two of rum into my glass. The little devil on my shoulder was egging me on whispering "go on, no one will know" and as I watched everyone enjoying their bevvies I was getting more and more agitated. Hmmmmm, I don't have a problem at all do I? I would have felt completely shit if I had of had a drink so I'm glad I dug deep and didn't.

We cooked home made pizzas which were delicious and as soon as we had finished eating a little switch in my head went click and my craving disappeared and it was at that point that Adam looked at me and said, "I wish I hadn't had those drinks, I'm very proud of you" And I felt very pleased with myself.

The best thing was that when we all woke up this morning there was no hangover for any of us and we've had a great day walking and swimming at the beach and eating lots of yummy food. I think I'm replacing alcohol with food and that's not bad.

Tonight we are eating salmon and I'm making a chocolate ganache to satisfy my sugar craving.

Tonight will be easier and more bearable for me because there is no alcohol in the house so no one can drink! I might be crossing one of those things off my list. We might be playing board games with the family. 

Sim did ask me if I was sure there was no beer hiding in the house.

Happy Saturday and on a brighter note, I'm half way there :)

Cheers xx

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Introducing......... Mary the Brave xx

Hi Everyone!! I asked Jodes if I could give her a night off and be ‘guest blogger’ for an evening. As I’m sure you can appreciate – this is a little daunting after the amusing, funny, insightful updates Jodes has blessed us with, but nevertheless….here I am!
When thinking about ‘what to write about’ many things went through my head (most of them at around 3am wouldn’t you know it)! I could write about MS (boring), the procedure (Jodes has touched on this) or my disability (snore). If you’d like to hear about any of these things, please fire questions at me in the comments section! I’m an open book!
Anyway – I decided I’d write about my Jodie; how we met; our ‘journey’ (that sounds very “X-Factor” doesn’t it) and so on. I have rewritten this after reading Jodes (amazing) blog on Monday as I had written – virtually word for word – what she had written (but from my perspective of course)! We are very much a ‘mutual admiration’ society!
I take it that many of you don’t know Jodes personally….more the pity for you. As you can probably appreciate from her writing; Jodie is open, warm, loyal, fun (!), inspiring….amazing. As she mentioned, we call each other our ‘no-but’ friend cos - you know how you can have great friends but….‘they b*tch’; ‘they get annoying’; ‘they eat too loud’….etc …well, with Jodie there is NO ‘but’. She is just exceptional.
Again – as she mentioned, we met about a b’zillion years ago when we were in our early 20’s. I still remember the first time I met her – soooo nervous! She was in a dark green pant suit (trust me – it was cool in the early 90’s) and was with the ‘cool kids’ at a Dragon Boat function. She was fun, crazy, beautiful – the life of the party. I was instantly in love with her (hey – keep it clean) in a best friend kind of way! Come to think of it - I met most of my nearest and dearest through the GC Dragons and they are still ‘my people’ today……(I have A LOT to thank Dragon Boating for)!
Anyway, through the Gold Coast Dragons we became the best of friends. I love her family and we’ve been with each other for most of life’s BIG events – weddings, kids, houses, jobs. We’ve got a LOT of history.
Jodie and Adam (her hubby) packed up and left for the USA in about 1999. They worked on a millionaire’s yacht/boat for a few years, cruising around Martha’s Vineyard, the Bahamas and the Caribbean …. Sound’s hideous right?
When she left, I honestly felt like I had lost my right arm. It was DEVASTATING! I still remember her going away party and I was inconsolable as we left….Ugh. It was shattering. (Remember too – this was before facebook etc). Thank God Adam brought her home to me….only for them to up sticks and move to the island which, while only 100km away (if that) felt like Western Australia! Sigh…luckily we’re stronger than any distance (even though we’re both sh*t at phone calls)!
What else…oh – you may have picked up…Jodes has a penchant for skinny dipping. It could be because she’s always had an awesome body; maybe she’s just one of those kindred Zen earth mother kinds….or maybe she’s nuts. Off the top of my head, I remember:
  • nights in New Zealand when our team was in 2 mini-buses and she would flash the other bus every time it went past …so freaking funny when you’re 24-ish;
  • An evening skinny dipping down at Broadbeach after a particularly silly BBQ/party at Kurrawa;
  • Getting her gear off at a camping site in Canberra after winning a National Title (I was WAY too drunk to join in);
  • One night at her unit on Chevron Island a group of us all jumped into her apartment blocks (communal) pool nude at some ungodly hour….only to have the police pull up minutes after we had jumped in…
Hmmm…..perhaps this alcohol ban thing does have its benefits…..
I personally am not much of a drinker now …unless we’re talking about coffee. I get really self-conscious about my gait and falling over…I can’t get to the loo in a hurry, can’t dance, and can’t stand/mingle (and who wants to get stuck talking to the girl sitting in the corner right?!). So now, I’m really only comfortable drinking with friends at home...and since 80% of my friends live 2,000km’s away….it’s hard to have them round for a bevvy or 2.
I (romantically) think I was a good drinking buddy...I loved hitting the dance floor…loved organising get togethers…loved boozy lunches…all that stuff. But the more I think about it...I also think I may have been a bit of a crier (ever had THAT friend?!)....and early on, I was so obsessed with my looks (or lack of) that I possibly spent way too much time in the ladies loo reapplying lipstick - badly! Mind you – there was always a good D&M to get involved with in the ladies loo at Billies on a Saturday night.
But seriously….who knows - it's all a bit foggy!! I do know I had a LOT of laughs, a LOT of really funny adventures and I was/am a big hugger so it can't all have been bad.
It’s ironic that I'm having a happy hour fund-raiser here in Mt Gambier in February while Jodes is still abstaining. Good thing she’s 3 states away! I might have to have a sneaky G&T for her!
As you can imagine, once this procedure is done and dusted, I am SO looking forward to having a celebratory drink (or 10) with Jodie and ‘our people’ because I have a feeling there will be a LOT of celebrating to be had; lots of laughs; some tears; a possible skinny dip; perhaps even some chin-up/push up comps....but that’s another story.
Thanks for having me and for your support – for me and my beautiful Jodie. Mary xx

Thirsty Thursday

I heard some very sad news today that Balangan Beach on the Bukit in Bali has had a pretty big fire which burned to the ground 5 or 6 local Warungs.  All were located along the beautiful beach front and the Balinese families that ran them are now out of business and their homes.  So sad.  Balangan Beach is our choice of places to stay when we travel to Bali as it almost feels like the old Bali to us.  Its a very quite beach which is lined with coconut palms and  at least a dozen warungs which, serve the most amazing food and of course large Bintangs.  Every night Adam and I would wander down to the beach to watch the sunset and have a cheap meal and cheap beers. The vibe was very chilled and relaxed, there was no doof doof music, no drunken Aussie louts, very few people trying to sell you stuff on the beach and no shops.   Just awesome waves, beach umbrellas, cheap food and beautiful, friendly people and amazing massages.  Not many people that I've spoken to have heard of it unless they are surfers which of course Adam is. He first discovered it with friends about 25 years ago when there was nothing but a dirt road leading them there.   I read some interesting articles this evening about the fire and I hope the rumour's are not true that the fire was deliberately lit so that developers could come in and build a resort.  The beauty of Balangan is that it is still untouched and there is very little tourism there.  A certain loss for Bali if the developers get their hands on it.  I hope no one was injured.  

On a brighter note 

I have a very big surprise for you all.  Want to hear it?  The divine Miss M (Mary) is coming to do a guest blog tomorrow night so you better make sure you remember to jump on line and check it out in between your Friday night knock off drinks.   I hope you all have one for me.  I'm starting to get very thirsty.  

I found a recipe tonight for a Lemoncello Trifle and got seriously excited that I would be able walk into Dan Murphy's tomorrow afternoon to buy a bottle.  Oh that deliciously smooth and velvety lemon liquor.  I thought it would be OK to make it (and eat it) because its a food not a drink but, NO! NO! NO!  Adam says NO!  Unless its cooked it still has the alcohol content  so I'm not allowed to make it and ultimately eat it.  Now that's support people, Adam saying "no" to me making him a desert.  It certainly doesn't get offered very often in this house so for him to knock it back, sheeeesh!  He's doing it for you Mary, you know that right?  He's keeping me honest that's for sure.  

I must be starting to get desperate though don't you think?  To even come up with that!  An alcoholic desert, what was I thinking?  I'm sure last February didn't last this long.   FebFast! what a crazy idea.

Do you know what is starting to happen now though?  I'm craving sweet food!  Whats up with that?  I never crave sweet food I'm more a savoury person, mmmmmm chippies.  So that 2 kilos that I lost in the last couple of weeks I will no doubt put back on if I keep eating chocolate at the rate that I devoured it tonight whilst sipping my herbal tea (thank you Kylie).

On that note, I'm off to do 100 burpees..... not really,  I'm off to the the land of nod.  You won't hear from me tomorrow but remember to check in and have a read of what the beautiful Ms Mary has to say. 

Cheers xx


Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Happy Hump Day

I'm feeling flat and I've got writers block tonight.  I'm struggling to come up with something new to tell you, something interesting that isn't just blah, blah, blah.....Its hard writing a blog every night and making it something worth reading.   When I write I know I'm writing to an audience and I write as if I'm speaking with a friend, hence coming up with something that you want to hear, but who wants to hear about my crazy busy day at work?  I can tell you though that on my way home this afternoon I was thinking about having a drink.  It would have been very easy to pull into BWS and buy a bottle or two.  I do miss it you know,  I miss the crack of the cap coming off, the pour into the glass and that first sip when I close my eyes and take a deep breath - ah relax Jodie.  That's what I miss the most,  the first sip;  its in that moment that I truly feel that I stop for the first time all day. 

I run from one moment to the next from the minute my alarm goes off at 6:00am in the morning and I don't stop until I fall into bed at night.  I thought that by me drinking less alcohol would equal me getting more sleep but that just doesn't seem to be the case.  I still manage to find things to do until after 10pm.  Why is that?  Why is life so busy?  How do we manage to fill our days right to the brim?  Why can't we say no when we know we should?  My mind is constantly planning, organising and arranging, then stressing because I'm not getting everything done in the day that I would have hoped, and then when I do drop into bed my mind races around the block a few more times before I rest.  When I wake up in the morning I still feel bleary eyed and almost a little hung over until I remember that I didn't have a drink the night before and I can't blame the booze.  I still feel sluggish and heavy headed, I still have a red nose (I think I'm allergic to the chlorine that I swim in each day, and its not the wine after all) and I don't function very well until I've had my first cup of coffee of the day. All familiar signs hey?

I started back at the gym this week and I was pretty determined not to weigh myself until the end of the month so I could see how much weight I could loose by not drinking alcohol for 28 days and adding a little exercise to my routine but the lure of the scales got the better of me and I went and weighed myself and so far I have lost 2kgs.  Woohoo!  Nice if I could loose that amount every week, I'd be almost back to my ideal weight.  That should be enough incentive to get me through the rest of this week because like I said earlier I could really have done with a wine tonight.  May the good Lord give me strength tomorrow.

This weekend my sister and my mum are coming to visit, I've told them they are NOT to bring any alcohol.  I bet they do!

I'm pretty confident that I will get through this weekend without a drink but I'm pretty convinced that next week is going to be really hard and the following weekend even harder because on that weekend we have my Nephews 18th and our friends wedding, both on the same day.  That will make it a little easier I guess, lets knock two big event out in one day - phew!  I'm already telling myself that its going to be tough.  

My poor husband this month is being neglected, I choose the only time of day when we can sit and relax together on the couch to instead be on my computer writing this blog.  He doesn't complain though, in fact he is very supportive.  He even did the dishes for me tonight so that I could come and do this.  I love him and with that I'm going to put the kettle on and have myself a lovely cup of tea. 


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

What is MS

My oldest boy Joel asked me today "what is MS Mum"?  He has heard of MS as he has done the MS read-a-thon a couple of times (and I'm talking about it quite a bit at the moment)  but he wanted to know "what is it".  So, in simple terms I told him "its when your brain has trouble sending messages to your body and that everyone who has MS has different symptoms and there is no cure".  I don't know if he was happy with that answer or not as he had a kind of blank look on his face.  Now that might have come from concern or it may well have been just him blanking out in his sometimes typical 11 year old fashion.

I thought I would do some research on MS and in lay mans terms lay it out here for anyone that would like to know and also for myself so that I can give my kids a better answer next time they ask.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?
 Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a long-lasting disease that can affect your brain, spinal cord, and the optic nerves in your eyes. It can cause problems with vision, balance, muscle control, and other basic body functions.   The effects are often different for everyone who has the disease. Some people have mild symptoms and don’t need treatment. Others will have trouble getting around and doing daily tasks.

MS happens when your immune system attacks a fatty material called myelin, which wraps around your nerve fibers to protect them. Without this outer shell, your nerves become damaged and scar tissue may form.  The damage means your brain can’t send signals through your body correctly. Your nerves also don’t work as well as they should to help you move and feel.  As a result, you may have symptoms like:
  • Trouble walking
  • Feeling tired
  • Muscle weakness or spasms
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Sexual problems
  • Poor bladder or bowel control
  • Pain
  • Depression
  • Problems focusing or remembering

Some QF's (quick facts)

  • MS is a progressive disease of the nervous system, for which there is no cure.
  • An estimated 2.5 million people in the world have MS.
  • More women than men have MS, with a ratio of 1 man to 3 women affected.
  • MS is the one of the most common diseases of the central nervous system in young adults.
  • There are four types of MS: relapsing remitting, secondary progressive, primary progressive and progressive relapsing.
  • Sclerosis means scars; these are the plaques or lesions in the brain and spinal cord.
  • In MS, the protective myelin covering of the nerve fibres in the central nervous system is damaged.
  • Inflammation and ultimate loss of myelin causes disruption to nerve transmission and affects many functions of the body.
  • While the exact cause of MS is not known, much is known about its effect on immune system function which may be the ultimate cause of the disease.
  • MS is not directly hereditary, although genetic susceptibility plays a part in its development.
  • MS is not contagious.
  • Diagnosis of MS is generally between 20 and 40 years of age, although onset may be earlier.
  • MS is rarely diagnosed under 12 and over 55 years of age.
  • Life span is not significantly affected by MS.
  • There are a wide range of symptoms. Fatigue is one of the most common.
  • The incidence of MS increases in countries further from the equator.
  • There is no drug that can cure MS, but treatments are now available which can modify the course of the disease.
  • Many of the symptoms of MS can be successfully managed and treated.

I sure hope "they" find a cure out there very soon but in the meantime Australians (unless you are a trials patient) can only travel overseas to have HSCT treatment (and they need to mortgage their house to do it).  I hope in the not too distant future that our Australian Hospitals and MS Experts can offer this treatment to the estimated  23,700 Australians who have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

Cheers xx

Monday, 9 February 2015


Let me tell you about the beautiful Mary or as I have been known to call her, MarBear or no-but (because there are no buts in our relationship).   I met Mary in about 1994.  She moved from Mt Gambier to the Gold Coast which, is where I was living at the time.  I was part of a pretty amazing sporting club, the  Gold Coast Dragons and they were my life for about 6 years.  If you have never tried it you should do yourself a favour and find your local club and give it a go.  Its the most fun ever.  We were pretty lucky that our team were so close and we did so many fun things together.  We were family and we spent way too much time together but in the process became a very tight team and for a few years were unbeatable.  The sport has grown heaps since then but we still thought we were all pretty shit hot!  The photo below was taken in Singapore in 1996 (I think), that's me at the back with the nice shoulders (they don't look like that any more)

All of my friends were Dragon Boaters and boy did we ever have some rockin' good times!  Marys partner Andy moved from Mt Gambier to the Gold Coast for work and ended up joining our team and Mary soon followed from the G and also joined us.  Andy was a machine, hot bod, nice guy, goofy and great fun to hang out with (everyone loved Andy - and Andy loved Mary). The first night I met Mary, most of the team were having a night out at "Billy's Beach House" in Surfers Paradise, (Geez we had some rip snorters there, but that's another blog).... Andy's walked in with this absolutely gorgeous blond stunner on his arm and both the boys and the girls just stood there with jaws dropped, she really was and still is drop dead gorgeous.  I've obviously spoken with her about that night and she reckons she was so nervous to meet us all, can't imagine why, we were just a bunch of egotistical louts.  She shouldn't have been nervous though,  she was part of the team before the night had even ended.  Anyway years and years of playing hard together both in the boat training and in the clubs partying brought Mary and I together as friends and what a special friendship it is.

I tell myself a fair bit that I am a pretty hopeless friend, I am terrible at keeping in contact with friends be it by phone or face to face catch ups.  I know life is busy and it gets harder and harder to keep in touch as our lives  continually change.  Marriages, children, school, work, relocating there is any number of excuses that I continually find to explain myself but in reality I'm a slack arse and friendships are a blessing that should be nourished and encouraged to grow.

In our "dragon boating careers" Mary and I travelled all over Australia representing our Club and our State,  to New Zealand and the United Kingdom to represent our country and we had an absolute blast along the way. There are so many stories to tell I could write a book and you know the majority of the tales involve alcohol and lots and lots of laughs and mischievous adventures.  I had the best time in my 20's and 30's hanging out with an incredible bunch of people doing incredibly fun things and getting incredibly fit and strong.  Ah the memories,  didn't that come to a dramatic halt when the kids came along?

As well as travelling and adventuring Mary and I became best friends, inseparable.   When Adam asked me to be his wife, I couldn't wait to get on the phone to ring Mary and ask if she would be my bridesmaid and then when Andy and Mary married, I in turn was hers.  We have truly shared some very precious moments in life.

I remember when Mary started having trouble with her legs, she was a gym junkie and spent every day  she could there working out.  She loved the treadmill and we loved Les Mills PUMP classes.  Mary's legs started failing her and she struggled to find out what was the problem.  At first we thought it was exhaustion and heat (it was always worse in the heat)  and after what seemed an eternity and multiple different Dr's who all scratched their heads in confusion, she was finally given the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.  From memory it took at least a year to get that diagnosis as well.   I can't even begin to imagine the enormity of her emotions as she grappled to come to terms with this life shattering news.  For me, I was so sad, I felt ripped off for her, I was angry and I was also a little bit in denial.  The thing about Mary though is she never ever played on it, she never wanted special attention, she never wanted people to feel sorry for her, she always held her head high and got on with it.  The diagnosis did not slow her down, she was still the life of the party, she was the first one to organise a get together or a weekend away,  she still always trained with us and participated in our races;  even if it was as our drummer.  Not only did we have the best drummer ever, we also had the best looking drummer ever.   She could turn heads that girl.  

The last 13 years or so of her having MS has been an emotional roller coaster ride and I don't doubt more for her than anyone else who knows her.  There have been lots of tears and lots of frustration  but she is solid as a rock my Mary.  She has never given up hope that she will be free of MS, she is always researching and trying anything she possibly can get her hands on to make it go away and now it has come to this;   To Russia with love.

 Here's to the rest of your life Mary.  May it be long, happy and more importantly healthy. xx   I love you.

Cheers xx

PS  I ran 5 kms for you today xx

Saturday, 7 February 2015

My big fat sober night out

First let me apologies to all my faithful readers for not blogging yesterday but I was too busy having a good time drinking my lemonade lime and bitters at the Fox Hotel at South Bank.  You see,  I did it! I took up the dare and went out and partied till the wee hours of the morning and in the process raised another $100 for Mary.  (Thank you pledgers, you know who you are).   No alcohol, no drugs, and no skinny dipping.   Here I am taking a selfie on the ferry to the mainland, I hate selfies, particularly when random people are watching, its very weird!

There is an upside to not drinking, I don't do crazy ass things like skinny dipping at two in the morning.  In saying that my Nephew Tom, whose birthday it was said on our departure "You are so much much cooler Auntie Jodie when you are drunk"!  Cop that Jodes........  Speaking of Cops, the high light of my night was watching about 12 police officers, ranging from traffic police, motor bike police and two undercover or detective cars pull up across the road to arrest some pitiful fellow whose crime I found  out later, was to verbally abuse one of the traffic police repeatedly even after about 5 "move on" warnings.  What a silly silly man (thats what alcohol does to you people).  It was a wee bit of over kill though on the police front I thought  but they got the job done and our streets are now safer......

Last night actually was fun after I warmed up to the idea of staying sober and sensible.  The lure of the bar was pretty strong it would have been nice to have a cold beer instead of a pineapple juice.  I contemplated a mocktail but "meh"  I couldn't see the point in spending $10 on a non-alcoholic drink.  When did drinking at the pub become so expensive?   No wonder kids take drugs these days, the prices are insane.  The place did have the most amazing selection of draught beers and ciders though,  I was like a kid in a lolly shop with no money to spend, my eyes were like saucers!   I did not however have a tantrum when I couldn't have a cold bevvy, even when Adam broke his fast and had a beer!!!!!!  He is back on the waggon today though lets see for how long he stays there hey?   If I was drinking, I would have had a "fifty lashes", the drink kind, not the Christian Grey kind!

We got home and were all tucked up in bed by midnight after a lovely moonlit boat ride home and I woke up this morning bright eyed and bushy tailed all ready for a day on the beach with my boys at nippers.  What a spectacular day, the sun was shining, the tide was high and there was a soft gentle breeze blowing to  keep us cool.  Magic!  To top if off it was the club championships and one of my boys won his age group (proud mummy moment) but do you know what the best bit was?  The fact that I felt fabulous; no hangover, no headache, no nausea - just alive and happy. 

Life really is a blessing and we must go out and make the most of every day, it's a sin if we we don't.  Live it while you can!  Alcohol has numbed me for too long and I am quite proud of myself for making it this far.  My first sober weekend and I survived. It wasn't that bad, it has given me more resolve to stay sober for the rest of the month and I feel like I have a new spring in my step that I haven't had for a very long time.   I know that each Friday I will have my little internal struggles and crave a drink with friends  but I also know that I have the strength to do this.  I'm doing this for Mary and she will be the reason I make it through. 

I thought of another challenge that I am going to do for Mary;  I am going to run, run every day because I can and she can't.  Mary used to love to run, the hours she would spend at the gym on that bloody treadmill used to do my head in!  I think I was secretly just a little jealous of the fact that she could run for so damn long and I couldn't.....So as of tomorrow because I can, I will run every day;  I will either run around my little idyllic island or I will run on the treadmill at the gym but either way I will run, for Mary.

Cheers xx

Friday, 6 February 2015

Its Friday and I'm still sober

Its Friday!  I'm sober!   I survived the week without a drink!  I have to tell you though that I cannot stop thinking about having a wine - you know I'm not going to but I really really want one.  When I finished work this afternoon and I was driving home, it would have been so easy for me to pull in to the bottle shop and grab a couple of bottles for the weekend  but did I?  Oh no no no, no I did not!    I am so tired after a huge week at work  and it would have been so nice to slouch on the couch and relax for the evening watching the idiot box with my family but instead I have had three lime and sodas and been for a quick walk up the street.    I've heard that the first 4 days are supposed to be the worst but up until now I have actually managed quite well.  I actually think I'm going to struggle more next week but we will have to wait and see I suppose. 

Tomorrow night though is going to be tough.  Remember that dare I put out to you a couple of nights ago?  Well a few of you lovely ladies did dare me and in the process raised another $100 for Mary and a night out sober for me for my Nephew Tom's 29th birthday at the pub. Thanks.   I haven't decided yet weather to drink Virgin Marys or Nohitos',  I'll have to have something special though if I'm having a booze free night.  It is going to be  tough watching the rest of the party getting stuck in to it, although it might be fun to watch all the frivolities and have a little giggle watching what other people get up to when they've had a few.  At least I won't wake up with a sore head and a queasy tummy on Sunday morning.  I might even go for a paddle on my SUP. 

Overall, I feel pretty good considering, I thought I'd be climbing the walls and pulling my hair out by now and screaming at the kids and the husband but no I'm still pretty calm or as they say in French " Je suis calme"    That's what I did this afternoon to take my mind of having a drink, I did my on line French lesson.  I'm pretty crap at it but its fun and hopefully I will get better.   Check out DuoLingo , its a great program, you can go  on line or there is also an app for your phone, do it!  You know you want to. Its great.  

Now for all of you lucky people out there who are able to drink this weekend, remember;   According to the Department of Health here are their

Tips to reduce the risk to your health when drinking

It is possible to drink at a level that is less risky, while still having fun. There are a number of things you can do to make sure you stay within low risk levels and don't get to a stage where you are no longer capable of controlling your drinking.

These include:
  • Set limits for yourself and stick to them
  • Start with non-alcoholic drinks and alternate with alcoholic drinks
  • Drink slowly
  • Try drinks with a lower alcohol content
  • Eat before or while you are drinking
  • If you participate in rounds of drinks try to include some non-alcoholic  drinks.          

Here that?  non-alcoholic drinks 


Eat before you drink Be well hydrated Count and pace your drinks Measure your drinks Do not drink more than one drink per half hour. Avoid drinking when you feel bad - See more at:
Eat before you drink Be well hydrated Count and pace your drinks Measure your drinks Do not drink more than one drink per half hour. Avoid drinking when you feel bad - See more at:
Eat before you drink Be well hydrated Count and pace your drinks Measure your drinks Do not drink more than one drink per half hour. Avoid drinking when you feel bad - See more at:
Eat before you drink Be well hydrated Count and pace your drinks Measure your drinks Do not drink more than one drink per half hour. Avoid drinking when you feel bad - See more at:
Eat before you drink Be well hydrated Count and pace your drinks Measure your drinks Do not drink more than one drink per half hour. Avoid drinking when you feel bad - See more at:

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Make a list

I'm a real list person, I write one and carry it everyday; I found this "List of things to try"  on  the Elephant Journal site and I  think its a pretty bloody good list.  I'm going to print it off and stick it on my fridge and then  I will cross each one off as I do them. There's a new one for each week of the year and most are free and easily achievable.  Why don't you try it too.  (You're welcome) x

  1. Write a handwritten note and post it to someone you haven’t been in touch with for a while.
  2. Make someone a Birthday or celebration cake.
  3. Volunteer for the day, a local dog shelter, home for the elderly or at a soup kitchen for the homeless.
  4. Take a bus or train to a town, village or city that you’ve never visited. Just go to the station and get on the next one that comes in.
  5. Learn meditation, yoga, pilates or something new that you’ve never tried.
  6. Make a scrapbook, print out photographs, emails and attach keepsakes.
  7. Go to an outdoor weekend music festival. And sleep under the stars.
  8. Learn to play a musical instrument.
  9. Spend a whole day in bed watching movies, reading books and snuggling with a loved one.
  10. Look up your family tree and find out what you can learn about your ancestors.
  11. Sign up for a local community class, learn something new and meet other people who live in your area at the same time.
  12. Forgive someone who has hurt you. And maybe let them know.

  13. Plant seeds and grow something in a window box or the garden. If possible start a small vegetable garden.
  14. Compliment a stranger, it will possibly make their day.
  15. Read an old classic. Choose one that’s always caught your attention and be patient if you don’t get into it straight away.
  16. Start your own or join a book club.
  17. Go to a museum, the cinema or a restaurant alone. Enjoy your own company.
  18. Bake cookies and share them at work, when visiting friends or give them to a neighbour that may be on their own.
  19. Make your own birthday, anniversary, valentines or celebration cards.
  20. Go mountain climbing, hiking, or a long forest walk.
  21. Eat lunch outdoors, pack a picnic in a hamper, sit by a lake, the sea, go to a local park or lay out a blanket in the garden.
  22. Roller skate. Hire or buy a pair and have fun while toning up.
  23. Let someone else order for you in a restaurant. Or cook something you would never normally try.
  24. Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while and make plans to visit.
  25. For a period of time, a week, a month or all year, only shop locally. Purchase free-range, ethical and fair-trade goods, buy from independent retailers, at farmer’s markets and give handcrafted creations as presents.
  26. Invent your own cocktail, purchase your favourite ingredients and try out something new. Adorn it with umbrellas, fancy stirrers and edible glitter.
  27. Play a board game with friends or family. Scrabble, Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit sadly get forgotten due to technology. They are timeless classics and a great way to spend quality time together.
  28. Swap the car for a bike for the day. So much more can be absorbed when cycling, plus it’s great exercise.
  29. Attend an open mic night. Great entertainment and can be the perfect way to meet new people too.
  30. Donate to charity, whether it’s clothes you no longer wear, blankets to the local dog shelter or a sack of carrots to donkeys in India. There are charities everywhere grateful for anything. Even if it’s a $1 donation—it all helps.
  31. Make homemade bread. It’s very simple and completely delicious.
  32. Switch off all phones, laptops and technology devices. Find different ways to communicate with those close to us and spend quality time with yourself or with others.
  33. Have a major clear out. De-clutter, if it’s not pretty, useful or it hasn’t been used in the last 6 months, be ruthless, let it go.
  34. Write out a will, a little morbid to think about but it will give you great peace of mind.
  35. Take all old books and magazines to a local waiting room, for others to read. Write a note in the front of a book and leave in a public place for others to take on and enjoy and then they can do the same when they’ve finished.
  36. Take your camera with you for a whole day and capture everything and anything that takes your interest.
  37. Attend a food or wine tasting festival. Most cities hold these events and they are usually free to attend and a great way to try new tastes.
  38. Hold a mini movie festival at home. Invite your best friends, tell them to bring a movie they love and spend a whole afternoon and evening together curled up chatting, eating and drinking and sharing old favourites.
  39. Organise a clean up with neighbours. Choose a particular hot spot that has turned into an eyesore and get a few people involved to help out. It won’t take long, will be enjoyable working together and you’ll be amazed at the difference a few hours teamwork can make.
  40. Get a few friends together and take a ball to the park. Play soccer, rounders, cricket or basketball and ask everyone to bring something to add to a small outdoor snack/picnic afterwards.
  41. Make your own soup—nothing tastes better. Especially if you add your homemade bread.
  42. Learn a new language, especially if it’s of a country you plan to visit.
  43. Go for a swim (if you don’t already.) Or try a brand new water-based activity, water/jet skiing, surfing, canoeing, sailing, kayaking.
  44. Skip! It’s free, burns a heap of calories and can be done anywhere.
  45. Take a road trip—pack a few necessities, take a map and set out on adventure with no set destination. Explore and investigate different places along the way.
  46. Camp out— Relax with nature and leave all technology behind.
  47. Read the community newsletter or noticeboards. Find out what’s going on locally and get involved in a new activity.
  48. Try a new look—choose a new hairstyle or try wearing clothes that you like but wouldn’t normally wear.
  49. Write a list of everything we appreciate. Sometimes things can go unnoticed and it’s a great way of becoming more aware and then passing on the gratitude.

  50. Watch a sunset, sunrise or both. Find a spot with a good view and settle down with a friend or loved one and enjoy.
  51. Write down your life plan. It doesn’t have to be specific, or even achievable. Just a guide for all the things you would like to do and then you can tick and cross off the ones that you want to work towards.
  52. Take time out to let those around you know they are loved. Call up, write letters, visit and send the message out strong and clear to those that are most important to you.
 “I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” Neil Gaiman


Wednesday, 4 February 2015


I have been in such a good mood all day today, in fact I have been feeling quite fabulous all week, but this afternoon, I lost my sh*t!  Let me start at the beginning;  This morning my youngest boy begged and pleaded with me to let him take his Nexus 7 tablet to school with him.  I have always had a rule that there is to be no electronic play before school and none after school until homework is finished.  I relented this morning because he has started catching the bus home and wanted to play it on his travels, so against all my instincts I agreed - what a mistake!  The story went something like this;

"Mum did Joel tell you what happened to my tablet"?
"No, he did not Reef, what happened to your tablet"?
"Well, I was sitting down having lunch and my friend Hong ran up and jumped on my bag"
"Your kidding me Reef!  You better not tell me that your tablet is broken"
"Well, its is broken, but it still works, its got a big crack in it and a piece missing, but if I turn it upside down it still works"

This is the thing though, Reef  (9 yrs) has spent over $300 on two tablets in the space of 4 months.  The first one he bought in September with all his birthday money which, lasted till the day after boxing day until he and his brother Joel had a blue and the tablet was dropped on the ground and smashed.....The second tablet he bought he paid for with his Christmas money and vowed he would look after it - he's had it all of about 4 weeks! 

I knew I should have stuck to my guns this morning and just said "NO REEF YOU CANNOT TAKE YOUR TABLET TO SCHOOL"!

I really could have done with a drink tonight.  But instead I went for a walk along the beach and took some really really deep breaths. (and a couple of photos)

OH!  Too angry to be witty tonight


Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Here we go round the world

Do you know one of the best things about writing this blog?  I love checking the daily stats to see how many times its been read and where in the world the people are from and so far I have had people from Australia, USA, NZ, France, UAE, UK, Cambodia and Norway and its had 639 page views.    How frikken cool is that!  I'm pretty chuffed, little golf clap for me.

I clicked on Marys Go Fund me page earlier tonight and she has just ticked over $18,000.00 in donations from 132 people which, leaves around $52,000.00 to go to make it to Moscow.  Its must be very daunting for Mary when she sees how much money is needed to get her there but you know what its a bit like that joke;

Q  "How do you eat an elephant"?
A  "One bite at a time"

So one dollar at a time and we are there. That means we need to find 52,000 people who are all happy to donate $1 each, surely thats not too difficult is it?  I don't suppose any one has any connections with Today Tonight do they?  Lets get some publicity going on here people.

I came home from work tonight to find my husband in the kitchen cooking up an Indian feast; chicken korma (made with AB's home made Korma paste), vegetable fritters, rice and papadams.  How good is that?  Hes a good man my Adam he even lovingly offered me a wine which you know I said no to because I am so much stronger than that.  Ppfft, its only day 3 AB and as much as I have thought about it I am yet to be tempted.  Instead I cracked open my lime juice and poured myself and Adam a lime and soda which was cold, bubbly, sweet and refreshing.  It just didn't have the bang that at Vodka Lime and Soda might produce but it was nice just the same.  You know I'm going to really enjoy the 1st of March don't you? You  know I'm thinking about a drink right now don't you? 

Dilema number 1 for February........  Its my nephew Toms 29th birthday on Friday and he's going into BrisVegas to the pub and we've been invited to PARTAY ---- I'm pretty sure he's not going for the food either it will be all about the booze and frivolity and he's a funny bugger so it will be a really really really fun night but I think I'm going to send Adam on his own because its easier to say no to an alcoholic bevvy at this stage when I'm sitting on my bum on my lounge in my house!  Maybe a double challenge is in order, like some one dare me to go PARTAY  but I can't drink and if I succeed, said person donates to Mary.  Bloody Hell, I'm full of good ideas tonight.  Go on someone dare me, I dare you!   

Cheers xx


Monday, 2 February 2015

Day 2 Done and Dusted

How about this for a fact;  Drinking more than 4 glasses of alcohol per week can suppress a woman's libido.  So there's another bloody good reason to stop drinking!  You can thank me later for that little piece of GOLD

 Apparently tonic lime and soda without the gin  is great to give your taste buds a good kick, and tonic water also contains a natural body relaxant 'quinine'.  Its also apparently pretty high in sugar but hey, I never said anything about giving up sugar OK!  I've also picked up some coconut water and lime cordial to mix with soda, so I should be just fine thank you very much........

So day two done and dusted and I'm not struggling yet.  I must say though that as soon as I started making dinner after I dragged my raggedy arse into the house at 7:00pm,  I had that same little excitable butterfly in my tummy, the same one who turns up every night right on que, the one that comes with the thought of pouring a glass of wine to have while I stir my garlic and onions;  but  I quickly realised tonight that "oh no no no, NO WINE for you Jodie"!  Habits,  It happens like clockwork and oh what a lovely habit it is but not tonight,  tonight there was no wine, tonight it was water.  Aren't you proud?

Check this out  For a bit of fun, I think I'm going to have a Mocktail Party before the month is up - Why Not?  I'll make it close to the end of the month though so that I'm not tempted to splash a little Voddy or Bacardi into the drinks before they are ingested.

 My good friends Ali and Steve who are also participating in FebFast sent me this picture, I think I'll give it a go too.

I know giving up the grog for a month really isn't a big deal so at the moment I'm not feeling all that proud for what I'm undertaking but I don't doubt that in a few more days (Friday), I'll be suffering in my Y-Fronts and by the end of week two; well, God help anyone who passes my trail but hopefully after that I should come good and life will be all sunshine and lollypops again and then we will have the Mocktail Party.  YAY!

Now before I sign off, check out the link in the top right hand corner which I've added (aren't I clever)  its a direct link to Mary's  GoFund me page.  If you haven't already donated please do and if you already have thank you, thank you, thank you.  Could you also please share around with your friends my blog so that I can get the word out for Mary and to help her get her gorgeous backside to Moscow.   I still haven't worked out the flammin' comments box so I guess I'm not really that clever after all.

Cheers to you xx

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Thank God its February

Well it has begun, today is the 1st February and the first day of my month of sobriety.  I actually woke up this morning and looked at my husband and said "Thank God its February"!  "Now I don't have to drink any more".    I certainly farewelled January with a bang last night.  I don't think I've been up drinking so late since I was in my twenties. 

So what started out as nice sunset drinks after a delightful Summer storm on the deck at a  friends house turned into a late night election party and then a nudie swim at the beach at two in the morning with 3 beautiful ladies and myself.  How daring and mischievous we all felt, actually it was a very nice giggly girlie moment for all of us.  I can't speak for the other girls but my oh my I only just managed to hold it together this morning and I'm only just coming good now.   What a waste of a Sunday!   I did manage to throw myself into the high tide this morning and had the most delightful,  peaceful swim. 

So this isn't the first time that I have attempted a month of sobriety.  I've had good intentions of participating in OctSober as well as Dry July but I have never made it past the first week.  I end up saying to myself "bugger it",  then give up and have a drink.  This time it will be different, I am determined to complete the challenge for so many reasons the main one being for Mary and the second one, my health.  I am hoping that I will loose some weight, I'm currently 68kg which is the heaviest I have every been, I'm looking forward to having more clarity and focus and most importantly learning how to be social without the crutch of a drink in my hand and I have quite a few friends who don't think I can do it and I want to prove them wrong. 

Its going to be tough, in the month of February we have friends who are getting married  and my Nephew is turning 18, both are classic functions that involve drinking alcohol and at both, the drinks are free!!!!   And lets not forget Valentines day, no obligatory champagne for me this year.

I am very grateful for my friends,  just look what my very thoughtful friend Kylie gave me.  Its a wonderful gift to get me through February;  a beautiful glass tea pot and orange cups (my favourite colour) and some delicious herbal teas from T2.   I  got all teary and had a little cry.  So you know what I'm going to be drinking as my new knock of drink don't you?

Cheers xx