Wednesday, 29 February 2012

End all Bullying

Well today was anti bullying day.  I am so happy to see that bullying is now getting the attention it deserves.  It has gone on hidden for way too long.
It breaks my heart to see how young it starts and seeing the kids who are bullied.  
I know first hand about bullying, I have gone through helping my son who was bullied in school.  And why was he bullied?  Because he suffers from ADHD, has an anxiety disorder and suffers from depression.  As some kids in his class discovered this, they would tease and bully him about it.
Also the last couple of years I was also bullied in my workplace. It became unbearable I was absolutely stressed.  This in turn caused me enough stress and anxiety and depression that I went off work for a few months on a medical leave.  I am not afraid to talk about what I went through.  I am not ashamed of it.  It happens to too many people and its brushed under the mat or hidden or just put up with.  It is not right, it is not fair.
Bullies are cowards, take away their power, stand up to them.  Bullies have the problem not you.
One of the hardest things I have gone through in my life besides my marriage of 24 years breaking down, was going through the bullying process.  Lucky for me I had some great co-workers who stood by me and a union who also stood by me.  Going back to work after my medical leave was so difficult to do.  But slowly step by step, it improved at work.  In the end I did get an apology and since then work has been so good, its how it should have been all along.  
Today was a day that made me happy to see how much bullying is being bought into the media focus to help end bullying.  But it was also a difficult day because it bought everything that happened to me right in focus with me again.

So everyone - this is my story.  I am not ashamed of what I went through and I have become a stronger person having gone through it.
Anti bullying is something I am very passionate about.  I would like to have a ride to end Bullying one day.
If anyone has any questions please feel free to ask.  I know this is not my best piece of writing but I just am writing what comes to mind.

So if you see anyone being bullied or you are bullied help or seek help.

Take care and goodnight everyone.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Weekend highlights

Ahh its sunday night - where did the weekend go?  How come they go so fast and the week so slow?  Actually my work week isnt so bad and I do enjoy my job.
But this weekend has been a good one too.
Lets see, friday night my son - whom I hadnt seen all week since he is working and then so busy with his buddies, came to visit me and then went to Canadian Tire for me to pick up my first set of tools that I bought.  I couldnt bring them home on the bike so he went and picked them up. I got a great deal on a socket/wrench set for 75% off the retail price.  Yay I now have tools to learn to fix my bike with!
After that he picked up Tim Hortons chili meals for us and he had dinner with me.
Saturday was a fun day - the first sleep over with my 7 month old grand daughter.  It was such a lazy day for me, sitting cuddling Heather, playing with her, feeding her and watching her sleep.
She cant sit up by herself yet but when I propped her up in the chair, she was able to stay sitting.
Heather really was excited with Gemini, my cat.  Gemini is a good cat but is 7 yrs old and gets a little cranky, but with Heather tugging on her she totally took it all and didnt even move.  This photo to the right made me laugh after I saw it on the computer - I guess Gemini was a little embarrassed with Heathers singing. LOL
Heather had a little heart to heart chat with Gemini and then after that they were best  buddies.

Then later on just before bed, I discovered my middle daughters teddy bear.  Heather fell in love with teddy and even slept with him.
And....Heather went to bed at 8pm woke at 2:15am, had a bottle and went back to sleep until 6:30am, I think she slept better for me than she does at home! Experience works all the time.
Then sunday morning, my daughter came and picked Heather up and took her home and I couldnt wait to get into my riding gear and get Rascal out of the shed.  The sun was shinning and it was beautiful outside.  I messaged Dar and arranged a little tootle around.
I got Rascal checked out and gave her a quick rinse, lubed the chain and checked the oil, then I finished getting on my gear.  While doing my prep, then weather had clouded over!!  I had Rascal running and went to put my Helmet on, I have to take my glasses off to put my helmet on, and so as I put it on I could vaguely see something fluttering in the air! Once I put my glasses back on, there were snowflakes falling!!!  Aargh.  So I decided to go to Dars anyways - I figured I could always have a coffee and come home again.
So off I went, a few more flakes falling, then as I got off my road, the sun was shining again.  Really!!
By the time I got to Dars, as we were getting ready to go riding, moto daughter was very happy to tell us that it was snowing!!  Nope dont believe it.  But she was right.  We sat and had coffee and chatted and next thing we knew it had stopped!  I do believe it was because Moto Diva was so disappointed in the weather that it changed just for her. LOL
BUT moto mamas got out for our ride....
a short one - but a good one.  We stopped at the Oak Bay Marina.
                                                                      This was one of the stops on our stops on our traffic course we did.

Moto diva leaving moto mama for home.

Then moto mama and rascal made a few stops before heading for home too.
 I stopped at Gyro Park and beach.  Parked Rascal in a large puddle of water!  She is a dual sport so was quite happy riding in the mud!
 Beach at gyro park.                                                              

Then I headed to Brentwood Bay, the Ferry terminal.

 The marina at Brentwood bay.
 I liked the perspective of the loading ramp to the ferry and the sun behind me shining on the yellow bars against the dark storm clouds in the background.

 I rode around a little more and then headed to home.  Got home, got my bike parked in her shed, went inside and got my riding gear off and turned around and looked outside and saw this hail storm.....which went on for about 5mins then turned to snow for about 5 minutes.  The gnomes are used to this changeable weather on Vancouver Island.  They just keep on doing what they always do.

In Victoria if you just wait 5 minutes the weather changes.  That sun we were so excited about this morning was just a big tease!

Friday, 24 February 2012

TGTWIH - Thank goodness the weekend is here

Well I havent written for a couple of days, hasnt the time been flying by lately?  I know the drill - the older we get the faster time goes by.
Well a couple of things to report, my dad is doing great on his recovery and is itching to get out to his beloved BSA bike again.  But as to mum, her cancer has spread on her liver, maybe even the lung.  Its not looking great for her - she is starting the next form of chemo and has losing her hair to look forward to.  I really do wonder why my mum and dad have to have so many struggles in their lives.  I am not sure what I will do if anything happens.... its very hard to pick up and head back to NZ when I have lived over half my life here in Canada.  Its a huge struggle that I have.  My mum and dad, one of my daughters and two brothers are in NZ, but here in Canada I have my other daughter and two grand children and my son.
I have a quote from a Doris Day song that I tend to live by - "what will be will be" and then my personal mantra is to make the most of any given situation.  So on that note hopefully a lot of good wishes and prayers will help my mum recover as well as dad is now.

Well like I said this week went by fairly quickly.  Scarlet and Rascal had a couple of adventures this week, the last of which was a VERY WINDY ride down to the waterfront.  We turned off our usual route after battling the wind was a little "more" adventurous than we wanted.  Actually my bike is only 275lbs and so the gusts of wind literally were pushing me and my bike around a fair bit.  Even Scarlet - and I am sorry to says this dear, is a LOT heavier than Rascal, and she was having trouble with the wind too.  Even so we did get to see some awesome rough seas along the part of the waterfront we rode.

This week my tires arrived on the bus.....went to pick them up thinking - I will just put them over my head and shoulder and ride home!  Ahh wrong, for a start they were way heavier than I realized, bigger than I imagined, so the dilemma, how to get them home!  See below my solution.  I love my cargo net - its awesome!

 I think I am going to buy myself another cargo net too.  They can be used in so many ways.  I did just get given and older set of saddle bags that I need to do a couple of repairs on and then I will get them mounted on my bike too.  I can wait to do a road trip and pack my bike.  I have to start down sizing my camping gear too so it will all fit on my bike.

So earlier in the week we had a beautiful crisp sunny day and I bought my camera to work.  I was at a University of Victoria BC.  It is a beautiful campus and it has trees and flowers and birds and a beautiful setting and layout.  I will share some of the photos I took this week.  As the weather gets better I will venture out and get more photos of my work place.

The flag poles with the Canadian Flag, the British Columbia flag and the UVic flag.
Signs of spring!

Some reflected architectural designs and shapes.
Focus on just one blossom and the wind blows every time so its a little blurry.

My favourite picture - managed a not bad shot considering the wind was blowing.

Well its time to say goodnight and I am babysitting my 7 month old granddaughter tomorrow and over night for the first time.  My daughter and her fiance are moving into a bigger place with 3 bedrooms.  So for me babysitting is the best option.  I do not enjoy packing and unpacking.

Well goodnight and I hope you all have a great weekend.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Just a plain old monday today.

Well what can I say about today?  Hmm, its monday, nothing out of the ordinary happened today.  What can I tell you about tonight........
I know - this might make you laugh a little.  I just to teach square and round dancing!
Ok so this goes back to when I was 16 yrs old.  I had a friend and she got me to go to square dancing with her.  Well I absolutely loved it.  So much so that by the second night - I had already made myself a square dance dress, made myself a crinoline and was ready for the second learners night.  I think I just loved the dresses and the big frilly petticoats.  Well I kept this up for a couple of years, we formed a young group of dancers and we travelled all over the north island of New Zealand attending all kinds of dances.  Mostly we would camp at local campsites and attend the dances, come back to the camp site and sit around drinking hot chocolate and talking most of the night.  We always had an older couple with the group who had a "caravan"  what we would call a motorhome here.
So as I said this went on for a couple of years and through this time I started learning singing calls.  I enjoyed singing.  But after the two years the main caller of the club retired.  There was no-one to take over so at 18 years old I was running a square dance club.  I had a basic learners class to teach and a mainstream level class to run.  I did this for a few years, then after meeting my then husband, he took up square dancing too and started to call as well.  After a few more years of this together we moved back to Canada, where once again as soon as people heard we were callers, we were hooked right back into teaching a class  here as well.
And yes there really is a lot more to square dancing the the Do se do!! haha

Ok well time to say goodnight my friends and hopefully tomorrow night I can find something more inspiring to write about.

Oh I remember one funny little thing from today - as you may know, I work at a local University in the Security and Parking department.  We also handle the "lost & Found"  Today we had a young man call us and ask do we have a lots & found.  To which we answered "yes we do - what have you lots"  Simple question right?  His answer was "well its kinda personal and I don't want to say, and our answer - well sir, if you dont tell us what you have lost we cant identify the item and let you know if we have it.  "Oh" was his reply, then he said, well its kinda embarrassing.  Well when you work in a university - nothing is ever dumb, stupid, dangerous or outright ridiculous enough to shock us, so we encourage him to tell us what he had lost and of course our imaginations were thinking all kinds of things that it could be.  So his answer was.........
"I lost the cover to my umbrella"   Aargh!!!  Really?  Like Really?  LOL

Sunday, 19 February 2012

130kms sunday ride part II

Ogden Point.
I stopped along the ocean front and could see a large barge going through our waters.

The pilot boat was coming back into the harbor.

Looking out along the sea wall out to the light house.

And after this my friends, I headed home.  To do laundry, relax and have supper.  I did hear from a friend who had been down in Mexico and had become seriously ill.  He is now home safe and sound amongst this family.  So that was a nice way to end my weekend.
Good night everyone.

130kms for a sunday ride.

Well today it wasnt as raining cats and dogs like yesterday, in fact I actually slept in this morning until 9am!  Wow, it was so nice getting up when I felt like it and not having to get up because I had something I had to do.  I think I am finally enjoying this living on my own now.  For many years I had to get up early to make breakfast, get kids to school, drive for the paper route, drive to skating lessons, go to work!  Then there were the weekends when I would just get up early and have a few minutes to clean up before everyone got up or just to have a cuppa tea.  So since I got my motorbike whom I nicknamed "Rascal," I cant believe how much my life has changed.  I have had a lot of things happen in my life, but taking the riding lessons and getting my bike was one of the things that "I" made happen for me.

So today, when I got up, I made a cuppa tea, sat down with my laptop and caught up with my friends on facebook and my blogs.  Decided to go riding and visit a couple of friends.

Took my time, and finally started getting ready.  I got my gear on, headed out to my shed to get Rascal out.
Checked her out, she needed more air in the tires, so headed out to fill her up with gas - all $6.61 worth.  Put air in the tires and I was ready to go.
I headed out along my road, its a great twisty road.
The traffic wasnt too bad today being a sunday.  Headed through town and out towards the highway.
Rascal was doing really well today, she had no problem keeping up to the speed limit.  It was interesting that when I approached the speed indicators, doing the speed limit of 80kms hr - the traffic passing me was doing 100kms hr.  This is on a corner that has recently had two head on collisions due to speed!
I continued on to the Malahat Summit where I stopped to take a couple of pictures.
While standing taking these photos a light frozen mist was falling.

I took a panoramic view from the malahat looking out towards the Saanich Peninsula, the airport and Sidney BC.

So after enjoying the view and taking some photos it was time to get back on the bike and continue our sunday ride.  AFTER I figured out how to get back on the bike without it tipping!  I always get myself into this situation.  The slope away from the bike was a lot more than you can tell from this photo.  Still something I have to learn.

On my way to had coffee with a friend and check out how much renovations he had done since the end of summer when I helped paint his japanese style fence.

The after coffee I headed back into Mill Bay to stop at Tim Hortons for another coffee!! haha  I took a picture of Rascal outside timmies waiting for me to come back out.  Doesnt she look lonely?
Well I headed on out and rode back into town.  Once in Goldstream I thought, Im not done riding yet, so took the road off into Goldstream itself and took the route through a number of neighbourhoods and made my way down to the Inner harbour, Fishermans Wharf for more photos.

A panorama of part of Fisherman's Wharf.

Rascal was quite happy sitting here with her new friends while I snapped a few more photos.

Now on to part II of todays ride....................

Saturday in my life

Well today started off raining cats and dogs!!  So I thought no getting out to ride today because I had company coming over for a pot luck dinner and I had housework to get done.  Shannon and my grandkids came over early to take me to the fabric store.  Shannon is looking for fabric so I can make her wedding dress, we found some nice fabrics, but didnt decide on anything yet.  By the time we finished looking, we narrowed it down to a couple of fabrics, but we want to check out some other stores to make sure we have something to compare.
Later we went and picked up a few groceries so I could cook for our dinner.
Got home and got most of my chores done and I looked out side and the sun was shining, and I couldnt resist the pull of my bike.
Got geared up an took a little trip out to my friend Mikes house.  He had an old pair of saddle bags that he was going to give me for my bike.  They were in need of some repair, but Im sure I can fix them.  So collected them and tucked them up on the seat behind me with the cargo net.

This evening was a wonderful night of laughter, Darlene and her hubby and her daughter were here as well as Cindy and her hubby.  We all got along really well.  I must say us riding woman are pretty adventurous, the men in this picture are going to need to try and keep up with us! lol

Well tomorrow I am going to try and get out on the bike and take some photos so that I have something to post with my blogs.  Right now I have to head to bed as I am nodding off getting this typed and onto my blog.
So good night for now my blogging friends and chat tomorrow.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Weigh in day!!

Well today was the first weigh in on the weight loss challenge at work.  I was down about 3lbs - not what I was hoping for, but of course, I did really well for 3 weeks and then this week ahhhh, kinda slipped.  But at least it was down. Im in forth place at the moment, and with a $300 pot to win.  I have to step it up because that would go towards a new bike.  Im really hoping I get this VStrom from a friend of mine.  Or I may use it to buy fabric for my daughters wedding dress.  June 16th is the wedding day and I am making her wedding dress for her.  It will be my first child to get married.  Its going to be exciting, and interesting.....well actually I will say it, its going to be weird, hard breaking and heartwarming all in the same moment.
Seeing my ex with my ex best friend, seeing the ex's family whom most chose to cast me aside.  So its going to be a trying time for me.  But maybe I will just arrive on my motorbike and that will give me the guts I need for the evening.  haha oops that wont work, I will be taking care of my two grandchildren so the bike is out.  Besides, helmet hair wouldnt do for mother of the bride now will it?
I missed my ride tonight with Dar, I had to go and get my 2 year eye appointment done.  Need new glasses again!  Seems like my eyes just dont stop changing.  But I am going to give contacts a try again.  I want to use them just when I am riding so that I have better peripheral vision.  Wearing glasses is a little harder wearing a helmet as it restricts your vision a little.
So I wonder - last night coming home from my ride with Dar, it was dark and I had a truck behind me with his highbeams on, what do you do to get their attention to turn down their lights.  I was on a road where it was unsafe to pull over as I was in a rural area.  I tried hold my hand up and then covering one mirror hoping he would get it, then I tried flicking my headlight on and off highbeam.  What else can you do?  What I did to help was lean right fwd so the lights werent in my eyes, but thats a little hard to maintain. lol plus it probably looked funny.  haha
Well its time to put the computer away and get some sleep - YAY TGIF tomorrow!! Woo hoo Dar we have to go riding saturday morning.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Scarlet and Rascal adventures

Tonights post will be a little shorter I think.  Im pretty tired, had a good day at work and then was happy to see the weather get better this afternoon that meant "another Rascal and Scarlet adventure".
Todays riding was good - we met up after work and then headed for Dars place as usual when we would part ways and head home.  Today we both decided we werent ready to head home and put the bikes away.  Instead we donned on our safety vests and headed out.  We did some night riding and highway riding.  Since we are both directionally challenged, I let Dar & Scarlet lead the way since they knew this area better than me and Rascal.
I did take issue with one cager tonight - I was riding through an intersection, put on my blinker and then pulled off the road into the gas station with Dar ahead of me when a stupid cager started laying on the horn at me???  I have no idea what it was about.  But as we talked about it while filling our bikes with gas, a taxi driver called over to us and said we did nothing wrong.  He said he must have had small man syndrome!  haha  That was good to have it confirmed.

Well Dar and I realized tonight, with riding together we were able to see that our safety vests werent as visible as we thought they were in the night.  So this weekend I intend to sew reflective piping all around my vest and my riding pants.  It was interesting, Dars TourMaster pants were very well reflecting in the lights, but my Joe Rocket pants have absolutely nothing refective on them at all.  That is not good.  I think that I may just write to Joe Rocket and mention this to them.  The only bit that is reflective is the reflective strip I put around the hem of the pants.
Well time to say goodnight, so happy riding dreams everyone.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

The start to a new week.

Yesterday when I got to work, Rascal was so excited because she got to park beside the bike of her dreams.  The BMW F800, this is what she aspires to be when she grows up!  lol  I couldnt resist with all the empty motorcycle parking, I just had to park next to this lovely bike.  I am so luck also that the brand new motor cycle covered parking was just built and right behind my department!
Ahh weekends dont last long do they - actually this week is already going by pretty fast considering that it is reading break at the university so the students are not around much right now.  But best of all - the sun came out late this afternoon again just like yesterday.  I think the weather is being nice to the Moto Mamas so that we can get out and ride after work.  Really I have been pretty lucky.  I got my little Rascal on Oct 13th 2011 and I have ridden every day except 8 days when it was too snowy and icy.

Both yesterday and today the Moto Mamas got out for a ride together in the sunlight - who says its still winter??  Although today's ride was a little shorter - but still a good ride through lots of traffic, over the Bay St bridge.  We had a little hiccup in our ride home tonight because alas, Miss Scarlet had a flat battery.  But never fear Motorcycle Man to the rescue - aww how sweet and on Valentines Day too!  Dar you have a good man!  A couple of runs down the parking garage ramp and motoycycle man had miss scarlet gently growling again ready to ride.

 Tulips on my desk today.
The red rose from my son for valentines days.

Well today of course is valentines day - and you cant escape all the romantic things people are doing and also all the advertising.  Amazing how flowers cost so much more at this time eh?  But even though there isnt a significant other in my life right son left me a red rose in my door for me to find when I got home from work today - he really is a great son.  I also was lucky to have some tulips on my desk.  One of the young men in the office was thoughtful and bought flowers for the two single unattached woman in the office.  It was such a considerate thing to do.  I did think the day would be kinda down because it is days like this that make me think about what has happened in the last few years.  I am a hopeless romantic and it really does suck not having someone to lavish all the things I like to do for someone.  lol  Well I guess its my Rascal that I can lavish it all on now!

This is my grandson Darren my 6 yr old valentine, and below is Rascal my current beau! lol

So today I have realized that I really dont know a lot about what I can do if I have any problems out on the road.  So for those that are reading this, what do you think I would need to learn before I hit the road on some road trips?

Sunday, 12 February 2012

A weekend with me

Well I have told you all about my dad.  He is now home and doing well.  After many attempts at getting his surgery just right - the surgeon finally got it right and now he should be on the road to recovery.  I did phone and talk to him the other day, he was happy to be home and looking forward to getting out on his BSA and riding around the airstrip again.

Mum isnt doing as well, the chemo she has been having has stopped working as well so the cancer on her liver has spread a bit and now the next chemo will start and this time she will be losing her hair.  I am crossing my fingers that it will work this time.

Pictured above from left is my oldest daughter, then my son, then my little brother who at 44 still rides motoX and then me.  My brother came out to visit me last summer for the first time ever.  It was a wonderful visit.

So this weekend I spent a lot of time riding my motorbike.  I have as you may know a small Suzuki DR200.  I have finally settled on a name for her and she is called "Rascal" - very suiting for her and me.  Yesterday I rode 150km.  I took Rascal out on the highway and I found this time out on the highway I had not worries at all.  Since I have been riding to work and back every day, I am gaining confidence on her.  Wet roads dont scare me anymore, icy slippery roads still do of course, but not enough to stop me from riding.  Now riding in the wind has been interesting for sure - since my bike is so light, 275lbs, we get blown around a fair bit on the exposed highways and close to the ocean on windy days.
I am sure though that all my yucky weather days of riding are good experience for doing road trips later on.  I do want to do some road trips and experiencing all the bad weather will mean I wont be surprised and scared of it when it happens.  But I have to admit, I sure will enjoy the sunny weather riding when it comes.  But getting back to riding Rascal and getting more confidence.  I found this weekend being out on the highway and over the Malahat, a twisty windy road over some hills. I found I could keep her up to the speed limits and found that even though she is small, the confidence and the ability to relax meant that she was a lot more pleasurable to ride and felt a little less bumble beeish.  haha I know thats not a word but you get my idea.
I may have an opportunity to purchase a friends Vstrom if he decides not to ride it anymore.  I am really glad that he is thinking of helping me out by selling it to me and at a good price.  He knows of my struggles to finally get my very own very first motorbike.  I have been on my own now for I can't believe it - its now going on 6 years!! I didnt realize so much time has gone by.  Its taken me most of that time to adjust to the situation I found myself in after 24 years of marriage in a relationship that had been very trusting, no fights, no real arguments and great parenting to 3 great kids.  But never ever be complacent because that is when the rug can be pulled out from under your feet and leave you reeling and in free fall.  That is what happened to me and to say that I felt like a boat that lost its anchor in a stormy sea, was an understatement.  But maybe another time I will share my story and what I learned from that situation.  But today I am a happy person again, I feel free and found the excitement and freedom of owning my first motorcycle.
I took the riding courses for basic and traffic, then got my motorcycle license.  I discovered my passion for riding after a friend I met and dated for a while took me out on his motorbike.  I was hooked!  Wow, I will always remember that first ride.  Always!  And not just because I got to sit behind him and hold on to him! lol
I had ridden a scooter when I was a teenager and remembered how I loved that too.  So after that, I started looking into classes.  Now being on my own changed a lot of things and the biggest thing it changed my my financial status.  It was tough living on my own financially.  But I managed to save up to take the two courses.  The main reason I took them was because we rode their bikes and could use their bikes for the road test.  So off I went, got my license, but had to wait just over another year before I could afford to by my bike.  So October 13th 2011 was the day my little Rascal came into my life.  She has been great.  I met this friend of mine with the VStrom and have enjoyed his company and listening to his stories from his life and riding experiences.  But he has unfortunately run into some medical issues that most likely has to end him riding the VStrom and sticking to his Bergman Scooter - which will make him stay on paved roads and not tempt him to take the gravel roads like he can with the bike.  So with him knowing my struggles to get a bike, and the plans I have to do roads trips on my bike.  He understands that I want to get another bigger bike so I can handle the road trips.  But this is all dependent on the bike being able to be lowered enough for me to be able to handle the bike.  I really hope this all works out because even though I love me little rascal, I really want a bike with some more power to be able to do longer trips on.

What I enjoy about riding is that, its expected and accepted that you can be out riding on your own as a single womanm but for me I find I feel more self conscious if I am out in my car or just walking by myself. But on a motorbike is absolutley awesome and accepted as being "cool".  haha thats my story and Im sticking to it!

Time for dinner.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Dad is home!

Well my daughter who is living in NZ tested me today to tell me that dad is now home from the hospital and she says he looks good.  So I quickly called him on the phone and he sounded as cheery as ever.  The first words out of my mouth were "its about time you were home, anyone would like you liked it there"  and his response was, "well the nurses just wouldnt leave me alone and they couldn keep their hands off me"!!  lol  he is so funny.  I think at some point I will get my daughter to read this blog to him.  I think it will touch him very much - but also I know his response will be "who the heck are you talking about - you must be talking about someone else" he is a very humble man.  Another of his admirable qualities.
I will keep you posted on his progress, and by the way, he is rearing to get back out on his bike and ride around the private airstrip!  haha  of course without mum knowing about it until AFTER he has gone riding.

Well yesterday was a wonderful day for riding.  My riding buddy Darlene - Princess Scooterpie, decided to meet up after work and ride around the outskirts and coastline from the University to down town Ogden point.  What a beautiful ride.  We are as she says, ying and yang or peanut butter and jelly or marmite and toast!  haha had to throw in a kiwism with the marmite haha.

Here is my riding buddy Princess Sccoterpie on her wonderful Miss Scarlet - isnt Dar beautiful and look perfect sitting on Scarlet and I loved the way her reflective strips were just glowing in the sunlight.  Yes I had to steal these pictures from her blog - oops!  And the next one again from Dar's blog.....ME!! right beside her on my Little Rascal.  That is what I settled on calling my bike.  She is like a little rascal always getting up to mischief with me in tow.  Very suiting name for her. And she is very adorable.

haha oh I just realized, I was smiling nicely for the camera when Dar was taking the picture - you cant see much with the helmet on!
Boy - helmets give us big heads dont they?  And all those layers we wear!!  Ok who am I kidding, more exercise and keeping on with the diet.  But weigh in is tomorrow, I know I has lost some weight this week so I will let you know my progress next time I blogg.

So any suggestions for clip on sunglasses?  While I was riding yesterday, my visor was up and the wind actually flicked my sunglasses off!  Luckily they were magnetic and they still held on enough for me to grab them.  I guess keeping the visor down is the solution, but in the summer I am going to want to ride with the visor up.  Another thing I have been thinking about - inventing something to make putting glasses on after your helmet is on, easier and less destructive to your glasses frames.

Well it is now after midnight and I have to be up early for work, so best leave this for now and continue on tomorrow.  Goodnight my friends.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

My dad is awesome and my inspiration!

Well tonight I decided to get some more added to my blog since the weekend is going to be busy.  Have to finish rearranging my furniture and the spring cleaning, and also the weather is supposed to be great for this time of year, so I am off for a ride in the morning.
I found that the place where I am going to look at tyres for my bike, has a Suzuki Gladius for sale.  Im excited but not sure that I can pull off buying a new bike just yet.

Since I started writing a little bit about myself and my family, I thought I just had an ordinary life if somewhat a little boring.  But from the kinds words of those following my blog, I am inspired to write a little more.  I wanted to tell you about my dad this time.  Thinking about my dad brings a smile to my face.  I miss my dad a lot, I left NZ to settle in Canada 24 yrs ago, and in that 24 yrs I managed to get back to NZ two times.  Christmas 1999 for my brothers wedding with my kids & my then husband. And the second time Christmas  of 2010, I won  a trip home for  Christmas.  My dad and I are very close and I am a lot like my dad in temperament.  Calm and easy going.

My dads story starts a long time ago - before I was born and up until I was 5 yrs old.  My dad at that point in life was in a band and travelled a lot around NZ.  The band was called the Harmonikiwis.  There was two brothers and my dad.  My dad played a triple decker harmonica and a double harmonica that was about 3 feet long and also a regular sized one as well.  They did very well, played on the radio and also cut a record.  They were meant to move to Australia and tour around there as well, but they all decided to just stay in NZ and the band folded.  I remember when I was 5yrs old coming home from school to hear my dads band playing on the radio!  It was a cool experience.

A few years later my dad decided to take up speedway racing and spent many years in the speedway organization as a racer & president of the Kihi Kihi speedway that is still running and racing today.  Dad built his own cars.  These cars were called TQ's or three quarter midgets.  They used motorbike engines from Triumph, BSA, Norton & JAP to name a few.
Every weekend mum would pack up a huge picnic lunch and dad would load the midget onto the trailer, then we all loaded into the car and we traveled hours every saturday to get to the speedway for racing.   The first car dad built did not have the roll cage like this yellow one.  They started off with a roll bar that was lower than your head!
Here to the left is the second stage before the roll cages.  These roll bars where higher than the head.
Then eventually they mandated roll cages as above.
So after a number of years racing dad decided it was getting too expensive to continue on without a sponsor and for one season drove another car for a Suzuki Dealership.

 Dad won many trophies as a driver and was very good at getting around that dirt track drifting in the corners.
My dad was a mechanic, he could fix any kind of vehicle and worked on motorbikes right through to cattle trucks, from mechanical thru to electrical to actually making or creating parts.
Since I was the only girl in the family, I could always get dad to fix my car or my scooter and of course my 3 brothers always thought it unfair as he wouldnt fix theirs.  He always told them to learn and fix it themselves!  haha of course I was spoilt by dad.
After dad gave up speedway, he took up another hobby - building and flying scale model remote control airplanes.  He love his planes and spent a lot of time with this hobby, we all used to pile in the car and go out with him and watch him fly his planes.  It was great fun. The picture below here the plane had a little accident and went through the hedge leaving the wings on one side and the body through on the other side. haha
Dad kept up this hobby for a number of years until he unfortunately had eye sight problems, a speck of glaucoma in one eye right in his centre vision.  Made flying planes a problem as he would lose sight of them which resulted in some crashes and had to give this hobby up.
It was about this time in our lives that it was discovered that my mum had breast cancer.  A very tough and traumatic time for my whole family.  Dad was extremly stressed while this was happening and not knowing what could happen.  Also during this time, the older of my three brothers used to ride trail bikes and was always out riding trails in the forests.  During one of these rides with his buddies, he hit a wash out over the crest of a hill and went over that handle bars and broke his neck.  He became a paraplegic this day. My brother had a bit of dad in him too and was so determined to get a car have it converted to hand controls, that he never had time to go through any of the "7 depression stages" that the doctor told us he would go through.

The next hobby dad got into was rebuilding and restoring motorbikes.
He started because he was always helping the boys with their motorX bikes as they were always going somewhere every weekend racing and then come home and need dad to help them get their bikes back in shape for their next races.
Dad was also working as a Mazda and Suzuki dealership mechanic.  Through out this period of time and up until he retired he was riding and restoring bikes at home after work and on weekends.

Above was a parade in my home town of Te Awamutu where they displayed the vintage bikes.  Dad and his favourite BSA are in the lead here.

Throughout this later part in his working life my dad got pretty sick and in the end when finally given the right diagnosis, had colitis, which resulted in dad having a colostomy.  This has been a disease that has given dad so much trouble in his life from many surgeries to get it right, to cross matching his blood in one surgery and almost killing him.  Dad has been in and out of hospital so many time with this disease, that we have all lost track.

So in between hospital stays, dad has kept up his riding, kept working and always kept a fantastic attitude.  No point worrying about it just keep on going.

While my dad worked as a mechanic at the dealership, he was lucky to be able to have his boss employ my middle brother to be dads apprentice mechanic.  They worked very well together and my brother passed his exams and became a mechanic working with dad as well.
One friday night just as work was ending, dads boss had some reason to get mad at my brother Wayne.
That weekend, two of my brothers packed up their bikes and headed to Rotorua for motoX racing.  When they got there, the racing had been cancelled because of the rain and the tracks were not rideable.  The boys headed home.  Unfortunatly, they didnt make it back.  They were involved in a head on collison and my brother Wayne, dads apprentice mechanic, died instantly in that accident.

My dad had to identify him.......that must have been the hardest thing my dad ever had to do.  I dont want to dwell on this, but from it - my dad told me he had a change of heart and they way he looked at life.  He said to me, that after Wayne died, he realized theres not point being mad about things, you might as well enjoy life because you never know when it can be taken from you.  He also told me that his boss, an old family friend, to this day was upset that he had lost his temper with my brother and that the last time he ever saw him, he had been yelling at him.  This is something I have learned from - to remember that what you say or do to a person should always be kind because you never know if its the last thing you say or do with this person.  I was not in NZ at this time and was not there to help my family.  I had just had a baby and was not able to travel.

Dad continued his riding and restoring - making lots of friends and taking road trips with his buddies all the time.  He joined vintage motorcycle groups and was having a good time.  One day when he was out riding on his own, he was t boned by a car.  Dad was in the right on the main road and as usual, a car driver didnt look and pulled out right into my dad.  Below is the bike dad was riding when he was hit.

Dad was wearing full leathers and didnt get a scratch, but after he got up and called an ambulance and he walked to the ambulance to be taken to the hospital for a check up - they discovered from the xrays, that he too had broken his neck.  Dad the ended up in surgery to put him in a halo - the sort that is screwed into your head.  In fact his doctor told him he was extremely luck.  He had the same kind of broken neck that Christopher Reeve had (Superman) and that kind of break goes either of two way, quadriplegic like Christopher or walk away like my dad.  So his walking away left him in a halo for 9 months, then months of physical therapy.

My dad always kept up his humor, telling me how whenever he went near electrical things that he got a buzz in his head, how when it got cold he would drape a towel over the halo and create his own personal tent, because the cold air made the steel rods going into his head cold which travelled right into his head giving him headaches!! haha - yes he thought this was funny too.
So of course during this year, he could ride his bikes, couldnt work on his bikes and totally missed being able to do anything.  Mainly watched tv and he could get comfortable in bed, spent most of his time in his arm chair.

So when the day finally came that the halo was off and the therapy was done so he could turn his head properly, and the doctor reluctantly gave him permission to ride again, he did.  He had a wonderful week or two of riding, and the worst happened.  He came home from a ride, sat down to watch some tv and thought that the tv was broken.  But dad had had a little spot of macular degeneration, and this day it had suddenly sprung a leak and he became blind just like that.  What a devastating blow to dad, after all this and he then became blind.

But once again, my dad is not to be kept down for long, once he became comfortable with his legal blindness, he had a slight amount of vision in the lower quadrant of his eyes.  He also told me its like looking into a thick fog where everything is gone.  He got right back into working with his hands, he kept restoring and fixing motorbikes by feel and with his hands.

 Above here is dad replacing something in the starter motor???? on the bike he had kept there just for me to ride when I went back there in December 2010.

And another note to shock you all - my dad keeps his baby - his fully restored BSA motorbike out at a friends private grassed airstrip.  He knows that airstrip like the back of his hand.  Yes you guessed it.  He gets taken out there and he rides his BSA around the airstrip as often as he can when mum doesnt know!! haha.  If you would like to see my dad riding his bsa while blind, I am inserting a link to my youtube page.
Let me know if the link doesnt work for you - I hope it does.  And yes he got in a lot of trouble from mum when she saw this video I took because he didnt have his helmet on.  Oh dear....he just said he likes to feel the wind through his hair. :) haha

So everyone, this is the story of my dad, my hero whom I love very much and miss so much.  I have lived more than half my life in Canada now and even though my kids have all left home and one daughter lives in New Zealand in the town of Te Awamutu where mum and dad live, I cant just move back there to live as my adult life has been here.  I feel guilty and wish there was a way to be able to be in two places, but I cant.  But I have discovered my love of motorbikes and riding.  And I have made some wonderful new friends that I know are only going to become better and better friends as we start sharing the motorcycle parts of our lives.

My dad does have a tiny bit of vision that he manages to be able to use a computer with a special program on it.  He loves getting emails, he has a youtube account and a facebook page.  I email him and I send the text a little bigger than normal and white text on black, then he manages to read it.  Yes he has learnt to use the computer, use a video camera, and to skype.  He amazes me more and more.

In December 2011 dad finally got into hospital again after waiting 3 yrs for a hernia operation.  The hernia came about from all his surgeries he has had over the years.  Surgery went well, but afterwards lots of issues with healing.  He got home mid january, was home a few days, back in hospital because some thing was closing up the shouldnt, so more surgery, back home, then back to hospital because the surgery site was leaking - yup back into hospital for massive amounts of antibiotics.  He is still there now, mum says he is getting better.
I hope that he is finally on the mend so that he can get home and start to enjoy life as much as he can.

Now just another note, I will of course start writing some more about me and then onto my daily trials and tribulations of a kiwi transplanted in Canada and of my riding adventures - mum and dad are also dealing with the fact that last year mum discovered that she has cancer again - a different on to last time but similar.  While dad is in hospital she is visiting him every day and also going for chemotherapy.

And to conclude this book long blog...........throughout all this adventure in my dads part of life - he inspires me because you cant keep him down.  He says to me that he has changed since my brother was killed, but I always tell him - he was always my inspiration and was always a tough old buggar - this is what he calls himself. The human spirit is undefeatable in my dad - I just wish for him that the rest of his retirement, can be uneventful so he can relax.

Thank you all for reading this and if there is anyone who would like to get to know dad or even email him - let me know.  I hope no one is feeling down after reading this because please be inspired by him.  I am.  Dad is only 76 yrs old.  He has a sharp mind and a quick wit - makes me laugh all the time.
Take care everyone and good night.  Thanks for reading.

I hope this blog wasnt too long, but I just couldnt stop once I got started.