Melbourne is pretty great, I’ve heard.

So I’m in Melbourne right now, and its pretty crazy! It’s been party, party, party – and I only got here 7 or 8 hours ago (its hard to know, on account of all the partying.)

Naturally the first thing I did was shots. Of cough and cold syrup.

Then came a marathon shopping trip! Woo! So glam! I lurched around like a mouth breathing zombie for three hours while I waited for my hotel to be ready. I might have brought some stuff… To be honest I’m not sure – such a whirlwind!

When I ran out of shops to blow my nose in, I crawled back to the hotel lobby and popped pills. To manage mucus. Because that’s a thing that’s happening right now.

So you know, since then I’ve been exploring the hotel room. Mostly the bathtub, and the bed. I watched a movie, read the whole ‘hotel welcome’ pack cover to cover, browsed the mini bar.

I also dyed my hair in the hotel bathroom, because as well as being the year of the dog, this is also apparently the year of behaving recklessly with hotel bonds.

Is anyone else having paranoid flashbacks to the incident with the crimson rush carpet? Ack. Best idea ever.

And now I’m planning to wipe down the bathroom for about an hour, followed by an inspection of the pure white hotel towels.

Bugger.

Crap.

My Fitbit HR is somewhere in the house. Somewhere that isn’t my wrist. I’ve just spent the last hour digging through my couches, bedding, and bathroom bins, and I can’t find it.

Related: I apparently need to vacuum my couch cushions in a very bad way. Like immediately. There might be sentient things growing in there.

The frustrating thing is I know it is in the house, because it sync’d with my phone 3 minutes ago.

It’s annoying the crap out of me, because I managed to squeeze a lot of walking into my day today. And I meditated on the train this morning, so probably I would have had at least 10 waking minutes where my heart rate was below 75 BPM. Which is a thing I apparently care about now.

My phone all tells me that Fitbit stopped picking up heartbeat and steps at about 6am on Monday. Since then Fitbits absence has been reminding me that Fitbit reccomends I maintain a resting heartbeat of at least 50 beats per minute assuming I’m a super athlete. Fitbit doubts I am a super athlete and believes a relaxed 65-70 beats per minute might be more achievable. With my current lack of pulse Fitbit is beginning to doubt I’m even trying.

Fitbit would also like me to know that it’s looking very unlikely I’ll meet my minimum weekly step goal of 70,000 steps at this rate. Fitbit isn’t judging me, its just feeling a little disappointed I don’t appear to be taking the goals we set together as seriously as Fitbit is.

As annoying as this is, it is an excellent opportunity to rearrange my house for the tenth time since I moved in, in the interests of finding my lost watch and healthy lifestyle guilt monitor. (Deciding to move every piece of furniture I own at 8:30 at night on a whim is only one of the many fascinating reasons I live alone.)

Shambles

I have either gained weight in my stomach or lost it off my ass this morning because my pants will not stay up today. Or both… Maybe the fat just relocated overnight.

I have PCOS, that’s been known to happen before.*

Anyway today I spent my time doing an attractive tug and wiggle every time I stood up from my desk.

I also spent my day recovering my professional confidence from yesterday’s shit-show. I’ve been in my shiny new Project Manager for maybe three months now, and on a couple of my projects shit is getting real.

I was doing pretty OK up until yesterday, because even though I’m new I subscribe to the fake it till you make it theory. I fake it like a badass.

I thought I was doing OK till yesterday, then I was told about one comment about one of the projects being a shambles, and all of a sudden I’m all: “shit they’re right! I can’t do this! I have six projects on my books, and I’m going to tank them all!”

I was super disappointed because I’ve been a project coordinator for years, and over the last two years I made these massive leaps in what I was doing professionally. I was at the point where I could look someone in the face and tell them I was brilliant at my role in a project setting, and they needed me because I was the best at what I did. No fake confidence required. Proven, tested, validated, with the reviews from customers to back it up.

I guess I forgot for a moment that I’m not there yet as a PM.

Now I’m back at the scary end of the totem pole. I’m not the best at what I do anymore because I’m new, and I have a hell of a lot to learn.

If nothing else the scary end of the totem pole is the end that you grow at. It’s the end with the challenges, and the end with the stuff that keeps you engaged in your career. And if you keep pushing through, then you’ll hit the top again eventually.

… That is if your ill fitting pants don’t end up losing the fight against gravity somewhere embarrassingly public first.

This morning after I tugged and wiggled my responsible adult communicator pants back into place I managed to clear up what the comment was about and took the first steps to fixing it. It wasn’t directed at me as a PM, so much as an aspect of the project I hadn’t thought about in enough detail.

Picture me walking through the office with victory fists.

#stillnotfired

*Said no qualified medical professional ever.

The Year of the Dog. Mine, specifically.

IMG_20150704_144923

Why hello from sunny 2015.

I say sunny, but really it’s the middle of winter. That hasn’t stopped the last few weekends from being absolutely stunning though! I judge my week in weekends, because in winter I leave when it’s dark. I spend all day in an office. I arrive home in the dark. If there happens to be gale force winds and severe weather warnings for rainfall in amoung that, well so long as it doesn’t stop then train from getting me home, we’re all good!

With all this sunshine I’ve been getting all radical with fitness lately – if you think walking is radical. No? Walking with hills? No? Baby mountain tramping? Not radical? Oh well. That’s what I’ve been doing.

Mostly it’s because of this moose:

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He’s a year old now, and a handsome teenage rebel! He’s also got the energy level of a bunny on crack. We’re thankfully past the puppy hell months (3-5 where I got little sleep and my house smelt like dog pee) and I’m finding ways to manage the whole work/life balance, if by life you mean the life-sized grand canyon holes my dog was digging along my fence-line out of boredom while I’m at work.

Arch at 1yrHe’s pretty but also industrious, given the work ethic he put into play with project: Escape the Property.

So yeah, Archer and I walk. We walk a lot. Recently we climbed the Gentle Annie out at Mt Holdsworth… Gentle is a bit of an overstatement. We did the Rimutaka Rail Trail with a pack of dogs in the meetup Walkies group in Wellington. I did the Putangirua Pinnacles with him last Saturday with a couple from the newly set up meetup Walk the Dog Wairarapa group.

The meetup groups are brilliant! Highly recommend!

So with it being winter I was a little worried about hitting depression again (that’s always my winter fear!) but I think I’m ok this year. I think being out exploring the great outdoors makes me feel good and recharged and connected to the world. The wilder and more remote the better, and I’m certainly getting that with Archer.

So now with the terrible puppy-hood woes over (fingers and toes crossed, and lick a bunny foot to be REALLY sure.) I might MAYBE be ready to think about a companion for my energy bundle dog… MAYBE. I’m not sure yet. One dog is work with training, vet bills, jealousy about having to share my dog with a neighbor during the day, and feeling guilty about late nights… but two. Hmm.

I have two and a half things to talk about today.

I have two and a half things to talk about today.

ONE

marching-girls

Mel has found a group of women who used to be in marching teams as teens, who are wanting to start up a senior team in Upper Hutt. I used to march back when I was 12 (ish. It was a long time ago. don’t judge.) and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. (It was mostly the boots and the sparkly aqua colored uniform.) 

When Mel text me to tell me I yelled “COOL” very loudly in the office. Then lied about why, because marching in NZ is not actually cool. It’s kind of dorky. But then I am kind of dorky. So one cool persons dorky, is a dorky persons cool. (Look at me, I am very deep.) 

I’ve totally joined their facebook group. They’ll have a black and purple (probably sparkly!) uniform. Black is very slimming. I totally do not have the legs for that itty bitty skirt though.

If it’s not too expensive, or week nighty, then I may just find myself joining. Because I am a dork, and I embrace it. Besides it totally counts as exercise. Marchy marchy exercise.

TWO

Whut

Archer is halfway though puppy school, and is totally winning this class. Like my dog, is the best of all the dogs. Possibly because he is older, and has already learnt a lot of commands, and he loves the treats I take.

My dog sits and waits like a freaking boss.

I feel a lot like a smug mum at a mothers group. I’m all “Oh, Moose doesn’t do down yet? I wouldn’t worry. Archer did at his age, but we probably spent more time practicing it than you and Moose do.”

AND A HALF

fffffence

The stupid gale force wind in Featherston is totally about to blow my stupid fence away (hence the half).

It’s the one shared with a neighbor who is giving me very strong ‘I’m not paying for that’ vibes right now.

I have a letter I’ll drop in their letter box* this arvo about how I’m going to get quotes for the work and that I have some people who will likely come help me build it… All they have to do is pony up half the cash.

(*because since the last massive wind that caused pieces of it to come flying into my yard, they haven’t been seen. Like, at all. Which is super weird for them.)

Cross your fingers for me dudes. I’m going in.

That time I was an idiot who nearly fainted at a client site because of aforementioned idiocy.

I did a very stupid thing the other day. Like, Tuesday must be the day of the brain dead or something. (That’s going to be punny in a minute.)

So, If you know me, you more than likely know that I am totally squeamish, and not good with blood at all. Like, I’d be the worlds worst vampire. Or vet, as evidenced by me throwing up that one time I had to look at an X-Ray of a cat skeleton.

Pretty much I failed the Girl Guides Animal First Aid Badge. If that’s even a thing. I’m pretty sure it’s a thing. That I failed. 

Anyway. Me? I’m not great with gore.

Which is why it defies any kind of explanation that I’d read an interview with a woman who drilled a hole in her own skull. On purpose. Because she’s a fricking idiot – who then ran for parliament on the platform of drilling holes in peoples skulls for national health.

Anyway. I was curious, and you know what they say about curiosity: it leaves you sitting with your head between your knees in the bathroom at work hoping you don’t throw up on your own shoes. 

So yeah.

I’m sitting there waiting for my contact to get into the office, and killing time on the internet. All of a sudden I’m following this awful black hole down the path of weird gore, trying to figure out what makes someone crazy enough to do this to themselves, then I realise that I’m reading an account of the ‘art’ film by this woman who took to her own skull with a dentist drill. Its claim to fame was that audiences fainted at the gory completion of  her home surgery.

At which point I’m like, “You know what? I don’t need to know this level of detail. I wanted to know if she was crazy, and I think probably I can go ahead and draw my own conclusion without reading any more of this.” Then I had to walk to the bathroom without fainting, on jelly legs, and sit on the ground in a toilet stall with my head between my knees for fifteen minutes.

In case you are wondering what one thinks about for fifteen minutes sitting on the floor of a toilet stall, it’s pretty much just “DELETE DELETE  DELETE  DELETE  DELETE” inter-spread with the occasional:

“Why did I just do that to myself.”

and

“This can’t be sanitary. These floors look clean but it’s still a bathroom.”

Planning the back driveway

I’ve been eyeing up my driveway lately, because it’s looking kinda sad. By kind of, I mean A LOT.

And I have all these awesome ideas to tidy it up, but haven’t started any of them because I’m on a budget, which means I really need to do this stuff right the first time. So: PLANNING.

Planning is a thing I’ve been doing.

Driveway plan

True my planning looks a bit like a drawing done on a post it note with highlighters (because it is), but it still counts!!

I’ve also been looking online for inspiration, and I’ve decided that I’m going to hide my unsightly concrete paths by putting stones straight over top of them, and adding a cool slat path like this one (that I saw here – totally my new favorite blog):

Path (concrete cover up)

I’ve also been looking at ways to hide ugly concrete stairs and pads, and I might try covering my back porch with timber, so it’s more of a cute deck arrangement than a heck of a lot of ugly concrete. I found PART of a video tutorial here, that makes it look super easy (is that guy even measuring??) And if I can cover the deck with timber, then maybe I can extend it a bit too, and start the epic decking project that I want to tackle in a year or two!

First I have to read up on the council though, because if I can avoid having to get a permit, then that would be awesome.

I’ll need to get a truckload of stone to fill the drive, and to re-do the driveway edging to keep everything tidy.

Blueberry

I’d like a raised garden along the back, that I can plant up with blueberries, dwarf fruit trees, and strawberries. and I was also thinking that pallet gardens are apparently super easy, and I LOVE the look of this one… it would be nice to give it a shot up against the house maybe… anything that hides the stucco is a good thing!! Or maybe it might work as a wind break?

Back Privicy Fence