Monday, December 17, 2012

The Ultimate Lego Experience

Something really cool happened to us this week.
As you know, we really love Lego at our house. And this week, we were lucky enough to experience an ultimate Lego fan moment.

This year, Lego is celebrating 50 years in Australia. They have been celebrating with the 'Festival of Play' all year. Back in October, they asked the question 'what would you do with 50000 green Lego bricks?".

Well, I don't know whether I told you, but we've been making our own Christmas tree out of Lego. Oliver and I made one last year, and he and Anthony made this year's one. It's s nice change from the usual gacky ones, and it brings a little bit of fun into a time of year that we don't usually enjoy all that much.

Anyway, I sent them a photo of last year's tree:
And the next thing you know, we had won!
We had to keep it a secret for a couple of weeks, which was hard, but we (kinda) managed it.

So anyway, on Wednesday, Ryan McNaught, some lovely public relations folks and a whole bunch of media turned up at our house. Along with a 2m high Christmas tree made out of green Lego bricks.
It was a lot of fun watching Ryan, Anthony and Oliver put the tree together, and even more fun to see the media circus! At one point there were about 15 people in our tiny living/lounge room, plus a bunch of cameras and lights. They took lots of really nice photos (some of which are available here), and interviewed Oli, who was well and truly sick of holding the 'let's put a star on the tree' pose by the 37th time:
After everyone had left, he said 'I never want to see another camera again!'.

We got some good coverage; in the Australian, AAP, the Canberra Times, WIN news and the lovely photos on the Festival of Play website. My little fella was a celebrity for a minute - especially at school - but I'm hoping it's not his only 15 minutes of fame.

Everybody asks us what we're going to do with a massive Christmas tree. Well, we know that we can move it around the place pretty easily, as we packed it all up and took it out to the Cotter yesterday for the CLUG (Canberra Lego Users Group) Christmas party. It transported very well, and didn't take all that long to take down and put back up.

So, we thought it would be nice to offer it to a few different venues next year, where it can be displayed to raise money for charity. We will probably also take it to the Brick Expo next year too.
In between, we'll probably leave it up. I'm no good with indoor plants, so we can take the decorations off and put it in the corner! Anthony's building a shed out the back that will be a rumpus (Lego) room, so that will be a good spot for it.

All in all, a very cool experience! Thanks Lego and Ryan McNaught!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Things That Make Me Feel Good - Haircuts

It's important to feel good. I've spent a lot of my life worrying about other people, and trying to make other people; sometimes (but not always) at the expense of myself.
As I said a few times in my older blog posts, I have spent a lot of time over the past three years trying to improve myself. I'm still working on the weight thing (more later), but a significant part of this is finding things that make me feel good, then doing them. Regularly.

Yesterday, I had a pretty crappy morning at work. You know, one of those mornings where you just can't do anything right. Being the semi-perfectionist that I am, I get pretty cranky when I make mistakes. And I made more than one.

Luckily (for my work and for me), I'd already arranged to leave early and have my hair done. And it made me feel much better.

There's something about devoting a significant amount of time to yourself that seems to make everything right. And for me (I have waist-length hair at the moment), it's nearly 3 hours where I sit and relax and all the attention is on me.

I love the chat with the hairdresser (I've finally found an awesome one!), I love the cup of coffee and the trashy magazines, I love having my hair brushed and washed and manipulated, I love love love the glorious head massage, and I love the way my hair feels afterwards. Light, clean and shiny.

All of this adds up to me feeling really good. Confident, gorgeous and just for a little while, trouble free.

So today I'm celebrating hairdressers. One of the good things in life. Thanks Becc!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

First, an update

As you know, my life's not generally as exciting as that of the glitterati, but for a normal person, I've had some cool stuff going on this year. So first things first, a quick update. The year in pictures:

In March, I bought a new car:
Her name is Ruby Scarlet, and she's just lovely.
We were also due to go ballooning in March (on what would have been Sam's 16th birthday), but it was too wet. But we did go one foggy morning in April:

If you've never been in a hot air balloon, can I suggest you try it? It's a truly wonderful experience!

Of course, it wasn't all fun and shiny red cars, I did have to work. But, oh, that's right. I have a very cool job. We do some interesting things:
In April I also did my Sh'Bam instructor training. And then I went to Sydney and did Sh'Bam with 300 super-fit hotties!
And then in May, I went to Melbourne for a dear old friend's 40th. And I saw Prince. He was very cool.
Then we went to Sydney and walked across the bridge.
And swam  in a rooftop pool in the rain:
We bought some goats:

(They're gone now. They were a bit stinky! And they needed more room - and edible trees - than we could give them!)
We walked up some mountains:
And we played with Lego. In Sydney and in Canberra:
And most recently, in Milton:
(We'd lost Wally. But lots of people found him. I'll tell you about it sometime).
 And we welcomed a new member of the family:
Meet Rollo!
So yeah, all in all it was good. Good, yeah.
And before you ask, yes. I did have a nice year. And spent a lot of money. And was lucky enough to do some really cool things with my family. And that's what life (and this blog) is all about now.
I'm sure I'll get to tell you more soon. I hope you'll join me!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Stay Tuned....

Hi all.
Yep, it's been a while. I stopped posting way back in March, mainly because I didn't have much more to say about the things I originally started the blog for.
But gee I've missed blogging! I've been doing a little for work and realised how much I love it, so I'm about to relaunch my blog. I'm going to change it all, keeping the name of course, and then I'm hoping to write about a whole bunch of stuff, with the overall 'theme' of love life, enjoy the things around you, and all that jazz.
I've got a lot of work to do this weekend, but hope to get it up and running next week. I hope you will join me!

Friday, February 24, 2012

The show comes to town

What is it about the local show that gets us excited?
Smelly animals; loud rides; ridiculously rigged sideshow games; dubious carnies yelling at us, taking our money; expensive showbags full of bits of plastic crap and melted chocolate....

But the atmosphere! It takes you back to when you were a kid and you could win that teddy. When you could ride around and around and around and never vomit. When the noise, the smells, the people were fascinating, exciting. When dagwood dogs tasted like heaven and fairy floss was the best invention ever!
Fairy Floss Macro
Image Credit

You guessed it. This weekend we're off to the show. I always think 'it's too expensive', 'it's not worth it', but then I remember how much I loved it when I was a kid.
I must admit, I do like to wander around, looking at the stuff in the pavillions and the funky animals all dolled up, but I'm not so keen on the food any more, and the way that the sideshow games are designed to rip you off really upset my sense of fairness and honesty.

But we'll do it, and we'll probably have lots of fun too.

Do you like the show?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

12WBT Blogger Challenge Week 1

Hi all,
As you know, I'm taking part in the 12WBT. So far so good. I'm also taking part in a blogging challenge, which is good because it gives me something else to write about (I've been a bit blocked lately, in case you hadn't noticed!)

So. Here's week 1, which is an introduction. For those of you that know me, not much will surprise you. For those that don't, welcome to Good-yeah. Hope you enjoy reading about my new journey!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.  What makes you, you?

Firstly, I'm probably not someone that would be described as a shrinking violet. I'm friendly, sometimes loud, and generally project an air of confidence well beyond what I actually feel.
I'm one of those busy people, always doing something or other, mainly because I'm also one of those people that finds it hard to say no. Which is part of the reason I'm where I am today.
I'm 38 (eek!), with one son, Oliver (8), and another son, Samuel, who passed away two years ago, aged 13. A horrible time that I would not want inflicted on anyone, but it spurred some personal growth. Hence the blog (and the weightloss crusade).
Anthony (40) and I have been together 17 years. At the moment, he works from home and does the morning school runs. I work in education, currently coordinating a massive change for the lucky teachers of the ACT (public) education system. My new tag line is: 'don't shoot the messenger', which should give you some idea of how my job's going...

2. Why did you decide to do the 12WBT?

Good question! I've talked before about my need to lose weight, but have never been a fan of The Biggest Loser or Michelle Bridges. Still, my friend (and others) said great things about the program, and I liked the idea of a community of people all dedicated to the same goal (but not locked in to weekly weight watchers meetings - I like the flexibility of online programs). The last time I lost a lot of weight, it was with the support of an online group too.
So I joined up, and have found that the community is fantastic. Very supportive and encouraging. Well worth it just for that, but the exercise plans and food ideas are good too.

3. What are you hoping to achieve through the program? 

Well obviously I'd like to lose weight, but it's more about setting up some new, better habits. I think the mindset lessons will be most helpful for me.

4. Why have you decided to blog about the 12WBT? What will be the main focus (eg, food, exercise, a bit of everything?)

Well as my regular readers will know, I've been blogging for a while. Mainly about the grief journey I went through after losing Sam. With more than two years passing, the grief has changed. Which means that the focus of my blog has changed too. I'll probably blog about all kinds of things, the 12WBT being just one of them. A big mish-mash of blogginess!

5. How will you be exercising this round? Gym, home, outdoors or a mixture? 

I'll still be doing my beloved Sh'Bam, three days a week. I've always loved the dance stuff, but group fitness is so motivating. It really gets you going. I'm also doing a second class on Saturdays (core strength based - aargh!) and then on the other days, weights at the gym or outside at home, plus walks, bike rides, whatever I can fit in. I'm lucky that once I get into it I actually quite like exercising. It's funny, at the moment I crave it - looking for excuses to get moving!

6. What is your greatest strength that will help you? 

Well, some would debate whether it's a strength, but for me, it's stubbornness.  And a little pride. I've told so many people now that I need to succeed. I don't like to look weak, or fail in front of people. Wait, maybe it's not a strength...

7. What are you afraid of?

I'm afraid of 20-odd years of failed attempts to lose weight, and the baggage that comes along with that. I'm afraid that I'll give up, despite the stubbornness. And I must admit, I'm a little afraid of the person I'll find under all that weight. It's been a long time since we've seen each other.

8. What are you looking forward to the most over the next 12 weeks? 

Again, the community. I love the support you get online. We're all committed to the same goal.
I'm also looking forward to trying new things, and getting stronger.

9. What is your downfall? Food? Exercise? How will you overcome this? 

I wouldn't say there's a specific food that's my downfall (it's all food, really!). Though I do have a weakness for ice cream. But I've discovered a 'no added sugar' ice cream. Which is nice with strawberries, so I can make a compromise there. My past history tells me that if I try to cut something out all together, I'll crave it more. So moderation is the key. That's how I'll overcome it.
My other downfall is feeling like I'm missing out. I tend to rebel against that. That's why I've set some goals/rewards that focus on me. One of my upcoming goals is to train as a Sh'Bam instructor (if I can find the $$ to pay for it!). It keeps me motivated knowing that's coming, and I know I'll feel so successful and confident when I do it! It's something that's just for me. So if that falls through or  through self-sabotage I don't end up doing it, it might derail me. Stay tuned folks - might need some kind words...

10. If you had to pick one word to motivate you over the next 12 weeks, what would you choose?

Health. That's what it's all about, isn't it?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It's still tough

Well, Sam would have started year 11 this week. It's been a bit hard seeing all his friends go off there, and wondering how he would have done (brilliantly no doubt!)
I still miss him terribly, we all do.

Next month, on his 16th birthday Anthony, Oliver and I are going for a balloon ride. Anthony got a voucher (for one!) for his 40th last year, so Oli and I decided we'd go with him.
The Samuel that I knew would never have gone up in a balloon (heights, slightly dangerous situations etc), though who knows? Perhaps he would have developed some more daredevil tendencies?
Either way, it will be a nice way for us to mark Sam's birthday.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Going Public

Folks, I'm on a diet.
Those of you that know me well might roll your eyes and say 'again?', but I'm just gonna ignore that...

If you've ever been even a little bit overweight, you'll understand just how taxing it can be on the soul. I've already told you something about my lifetime of struggles, and I probably will again. Once again, if you have some experience, you'll know it's tough. If you don't, you'll have no understanding of just how hard it is. People that have never had a problem with their weight don't get it. They think we're lazy pigs (yes, I am generalising here, I'm sorry, but it happens to me all the time!), and some of them even try to sabotage us: 'come on, you know you want this chocolate bar...'

And yes, I have done it before. But I'm not going into all that now. Because today I'm committing. I'm 'saying it out loud'.

A friend from work and I have been 'casually' dieting for the last few months, giving each other little bits of inspiration, motivation and encouragement.
A few weeks ago, she told me she was joining Michelle Bridges' 12 Week Body Transformation. At first I thought I'd leave her to it. I'm not a big fan of her work or anything (The Biggest Loser in all its unrealistic weightloss glory drives me crazy), plus it costs money to do! While I've tried lots of different diets etc, I generally don't pay people to tell me to diet.

Still, she started telling me about the things that were happening on the site, and it really appealed to me. A community of like-minded folks, all in the same boat (yes, a big boat -boom boom!), with some sensible advice (so far!).
So I joined up. I figured that in some of my darker days I would easily spend $20 a week on junk food. Heck, it's only 4 take away coffees when you think about it...

And it's been very good so far. I'm a little dubious about the calorie limits, but so far impressed with the level of support, and some of the great 'mindset' tasks that we have been set during the pre-season (the actual program doesn't start until mid-February).

One of the most recent tasks was that we needed to 'say it out loud'. We need to commit to losing weight and tell people about it. Seems simple enough, but I reckon it's a great idea. Accountability goes a long way, especially for someone like me that does not like to fail. Especially publicly.

So here they are, my goals for the coming year. Out there for anyone who wants to see. Scary!

In 2 weeks (around the start of the program): I will have lost another kilo. I've already lost 13 since October last year, so this will make 14.

In 3 months (around the end of the program): I will have lost a total of 20-25 kilos. I will reward myself with a nice haircut.

In 6 months (around July): I will have lost a total of 35-40 kilos, bringing me pretty close to where I should be. I will reward myself with some new clothes, maybe a facial. I am going to 'sponsor' myself $20 per kilo, so I'll have a bit of spending money!

How am I going to do this? Well, for one, I'm not going to go crazy. I've been doing Atkins, and while I definitely notice the difference low carbs makes to my digestion (and my weight!), it's too restrictive. I just know I am going to rebel if I try and stick to it.
No, I'm going to be sensible. I'll eat mainly good foods, but occasionally I have some chocolate, or a couple of beers. Not every day, but occasionally.
And I'll exercise. I've already got my three Sh'Bam days, I'm just going to add a couple of walks. And if I do it with Oliver, even better. He loves a walk or a ride around the lake. Last weekend, we even went walking up a mountain (Anthony came too of course!). It makes it so much easier when you're doing stuff you like doing. And I like walking in the bush.

I'm also hoping to train as a Sh'Bam instructor. I might never teach a class, but I like the idea of doing the training. I love the class, and I do OK at it. I think with some lost weight and more confidence, I'll get even better at it. I let this goal slip to my lovely Sh'Bam instructor the other night; she's already signing me up for the course!I did two classes in a row on Monday and survived it, so i reckon it's even possbile!

Of course, all of this means that I can't fail, because I'm just too stubborn to do that!

So here's what I look like at the moment:
Oli and I on top of Booroomba Rocks, last Saturday (28/1/2012)

I know, still a little way to go, but then again, this is what I looked like on the same day last year:

In 3 months, I'll post another picture. We'll see how it goes.

Wish me luck everyone! And please, ask me how I'm going. Keep me accountable. This year, I'm actually going to do it! It's all about habits, and that's what I'm going to be building. My friend says that habit is much more important than motivation, and she's right. So here's to good habits!

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Renos

I've been waiting until I found some better 'before' photos to put up this post, but I realised it might never go up!

As you know, Anthony's been building me a kitchen. This year, it started out somewhat like this (there was a fridge and some other ugly cupboards on the left-hand side):
When I find an older photo of the complete kitchen, I'll pop it in...
After several months of disruption and mess (and a few freezing winter weeks which saw me huddled out on the front deck cooking on a camp stove), I'm happy to say it now looks like this:
There's still a little bit to do: on the back wall, Anthony's going to build a little shelf unit, and the windowsill still needs a coat of paint, but for now, it's done!

We were shopping after Christmas (one of my favourite hobbies - the Boxing Day sales!), when I thought it would be a good idea to finish the rest of this area. I had promised Anthony a big-screen TV when he finished the kitchen/lounge room, so I reminded him of this and suggested we finish the lounge room too.

Silly me. Being a public servant at the moment, I only had a couple of weeks off over Christmas, and because I'd preparing and cooking for Christmas, I hadn't had a moment to stop and relax (and blog!).
Nevertheless, we kicked off on the 27th, moving most of the stuff from the lounge/dining room to my study and my bedroom, meaning that I had nowhere to just sit and relax (even outside was dust-strewn and messy!).

Anthony spent a whole day in the ceiling, moving batts and vacuuming the roof space. The ceiling panels were sagging (quite dramatically in places) and he wanted to make sure the roof space was clear before screwing them up.

Next, I had wanted to get rid of this 'wood look' panelling for a long time:
I spent a day pulling it off, then the wall panels, as they were covered in glue and Anthony said they were too far gone to save. I then vaccumed out the old insulation and, with Anthony's help, replaced the gyprock panels.
After that, I was on plastering duty. Not the easiest task, given the scars left from the walls we pulled out years ago. But I did OK. On New Year's Eve, I spent the evening 'getting plastered', only stopping for a brief drive out to the city with the boys to see the midnight fireworks.

By the 4th of January, after a couple of days spent sanding the walls and ceiling, I was fed up. I was due to go back to work on the 9th, and not only did I have nowhere to go and relax, but we weren't even close to starting painting.
I was getting crankier and crankier and much harder to be around, when Anthony snapped: 'why don't you just go away for a couple of days?'

So I did! That afternoon, Oliver and I packed up and drove to Lake Tabourie on the south coast (the only place I could get a room). I might post about this when I get the photos up.

By the time we got back on the 7th, the painting was almost done. I helped Anthony with some finishing touches and we were able to use the room by the Sunday night. I've spent the last couple of weeks (after work and on weekends) putting it all back together. At the moment it looks like this:
We've got a couple of bits and pieces to do, but I'm pretty happy with it.

Don't you love a happy ending?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Yay for technology!

My lovely iMac has been playing up a lot lately. My fault really as I had packed too much stuff on there and was being slack about cleaning it up.
I've done a big, dramatic reformat and am in the process of adding stuff and creating a new filing system. So, when I find my photos again, I will put up the post I have in mind.
I tells ya, if it's not one thing, it's another!

I should also mention - this is my 300th post! Yay for me! They haven't always been regular, and sometimes aren't all that interesting, but I've made it to 300! GO Mel!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

As you know, Christmas is our tough time of year.
It didn't seem like this year was going to be any easier, those unhappy thoughts rise quickly to the surface, and you spend a lot of time dwelling on the anniversary to come...and the events that you're marking with that anniversary.

But the day wasn't too bad. We had the family and a couple of good friends drop in over the course of the day, as well as a few of Sam's friends. Always so nice to see them. We blew up orange balloons, wrote on the wall, and just enjoyed each other's company, and the good memories Sam left us. I won't say it gets better, but it is a little easier each time.

Then, three days later it was Christmas Day. Because my kitchen is almost finished, I decided that I wanted to do Christmas at my place. Oli helped me make some cool Gingerbread trees and shortbread, and we put together another awesome Lego tree:
This one even had lights inside!
We had a small group over: my family, Anthony's youngest brother James and foster sister Ange and her family. And despite the fact that I was preparing the meal, it was still a lovely, relaxing day.
Oliver was spoilt rotten (as usual!), including this amazing gift from his Granny and Grandad:
All in all, a great day. I loved not having to race around the place (I always thought it was a bit crazy that we psych our kids up for all these gifts, then drag them away from them for most of the day!).

On Boxing Day I went shopping, as I always do, and bought myself a nice Kenwood mixer. And we looked at TVs, which got us thinking about renovating our lounge room. More about that next time...

Foo, Foo, and more Foo!

Ok, I've decided that Tuesday is going to be my blog day. So tonight I'm going to catch up a bit.
Firstly, my Foo adventure!

As you know, I'm a bit of a Foo-natic. That is, a big, slightly obsessed, fan of the Foo Fighters. I've already seen them once this year, as I blogged about way back in March.
They came back here in December and, having bought the tickets way back in July, I was definitely not going to miss them!
My wonderful brother-in-law James sent me a message about three weeks before the show saying that he had a spare ticket to the Gold Coast show. And I thought - why not? I never do crazy, impetuous stuff like that, so I decided that I was going to go.

So on Thursday the 8th of December (good god! is it really that long ago? So much to catch up on!), Anthony and I drove to Sydney for the first gig. We stayed in a lovely room at the Radisson Darling Harbour and a lovely 3km stroll to the Sydney Football Stadium, where the concert was held.

Our seats were waaaaaay back, but it gave us a good opportunity to just sit and enjoy the music/atmosphere. This was their biggest gig, with about 40000 people crammed in - what an amazing atmosphere!

Tenacious D were the support act. That would have made a great gig on it's own. Jack Black was in great form!

But of course, the Foo Fighters were amazing, as usual. They know how to put on a good show, and included some of my favourite songs. There's nothing like hearing 40000 people singing along to the same song!

So on the Friday we went home, and then on Saturday morning I jumped on a plane to Brisbane. James and Michael (his best mate) picked me up from the airport, and after a Hard Rock lunch (well, where else would we go??) we headed to Metricon Stadium, to wait near the front of the line.
When they finally let us in, I did something I haven't done for years. I ran!
With all the other die-hards, I ran to the stage so that I could be near the front. And I managed a nice spot right next to the catwalk that Dave used throughout the show (I've put my camera down somewhere in the house...will put up some better photos when I find it!).
It was so much fun! Despite staying in the same place for about 7 hours, with people pushing up against me, I had a great time! Singing, bouncing up and down, and shouting myself hoarse (knowing full well none of the band could hear me)!
They played pretty much the same set, but it was so different being right up near the stage. I used to do it a lot when I was younger, but hadn't lately. I'm glad I did!

Early Sunday morning I flew back to Canberra. The connecting flight from Sydney was particularly horrible; a Dash-8 flying through a thunderstorm. At one point we had one of those huge turbulence drops and by the time I got off the plane I was feeling decidedly nauseous! Not the best way to end my Foo-venture!

Still, to cap off my crazy-busy weekend, Anthony and I went along to the Spicks and Speck-tacular, which was amazing! A great live show that included some of the games from the show and lots of really funny stuff. When we came outside, the carpark was flooded:
Yep, that's Anthony in the car. He waded through the water for me. What a man!
So that was my wild weekend. Lots of fun, some great memories, and some awesome music!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hi. Remember me? I wrote a blog once.
This blog was a very helpful tool in working my way through the grief I felt after losing my Sam.

As I have gone on, healing a bit more each day, I find that I am taken away from my blog more than I would like. Believe me, I still want to blog. I like telling the world about the little things that make up my days. The problem is finding time to do it. More about that later.

Over the past two years, I have made some massive changes to my life. These changes are probably not outwardly noticeable, but to me they have been big.

It started with a change in attitude. I looked at the things that took up time in my life, and thought about how beneficial they were (or were not) to me, and to the people that were important to me. As a result of this, I now spend a bit more time on me: exercising, reading a good book, retail therapy, going to concerts...little things that make me feel better. And make me a better person/mum/employee.

I also spend less time on things that are not as important to me: housework (more on that later), work (not that I'm slacking off - on the contrary! See below), people that don't offer me anything in return for my time and effort, etc.

I've changed the way I interact with my family. I communicate better with Anthony and spend more quality time with Oliver.

I've changed my attitude to work. I'm no longer prepared to make myself crazy for work. I will do what I am happy doing, just enough of it to do it well but still maintain a healthy work/life balance.

I've changed my attitude to my health. I eat better, exercise more, and don't spend too much time consumed by the quest to lose weight.

All these changes are for the better. I like to call them the gifts that Sam keeps giving me, because many of them wouldn't have happened if I hadn't lost him. It's sad to realise that, because I wonder about the time that I've lost, and the opportunities that I missed before, and I regret many of the things I didn't do (or did badly) with Sam. But I'm grateful that I've had the opportunity to re-evaluate my life. I wish everyone could do that - without having to lose someone special of course.

Because we take so much for granted. We worry so much about stuff that is meaningless; worthless. We try so hard to please people that don't deserve it, and to impress people that don't care. We miss wonderful opportunities and don't take the time to take risks, to play.

Without Sam, and without this blog, I wouldn't have realised all this. That's why this blog is still so important to me. Because I've still got some lessons to learn (one of them is learning to manage my time better so that I can fit a regular blog post in!), and some things to share.

It's not going to be as regular as it was. I've gotta be realistic about that. But come by eery week or so, i'll try to post at least weekly. I've got plenty to keep me going for the next little while, so when I find time, I'll blog.

As always, thanks for being with me on the ride.