Thursday, November 20

H.O.P.E - Have Only Positive Expectations

Back in 2013 when I went to #DPCON13 I was fortunate enough to meet lots of wonderful people. One of these wonderful people said something to me that has stuck in my head ever since. She told me how reading my blog made her feel happy. In her darkest days when she was feeling blue she would pop over and have a read of what I had to say because my positivity picked her up.

My heart filled with so much joy then that my eyes started to leak a little. I had no idea that my words could make such a difference to people, especially people I thought so highly of.

Recently I have felt less than positive.

The reasons for that are many and varied and mostly elusive to me at the moment. By all accounts I should currently be a shimmering ray of positivity light. You know given that I am on #ouradventureofalifetime and all. Apart from the fact that is has been put on pause. Though all of this is a discussion for another day.

Because today I want to share with you a woman who despite the bleakest of possibilities is still a shining tower of positivity and H.O.P.E. (Have Only Positive Expectations).

Jennifer and her boys, image via H.O.P.E for Jen Facebook Group

Jennifer Fitzgibbins is a 29 year old mother to four who within the last month has had her entire world turned upside down. Doctors have given her three to six months left to live as her body has been invaded by aggressive cancers.

Rather than just roll over and let those precious months slip by Jennifer is determined to show cancer who is boss and refuses to go down without a fight. She is determined to do everything she can to prove the doctors and statistics wrong. 

A feat that she has already mastered once before.

In September 2010 as a young mum of two, she was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. After a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation and reconstructive surgeries Jennifer was only given a less than two percent chance of ever having more children. In 2012 she gave birth to her third son and earlier this year welcomed her fourth.

A Canadian by birth Jennifer travelled to Australia in 2005 where she met and fell in love with her now husband Scott. The family have recently gone on a holiday to Jennifer’s home town so that Jennifer has the opportunity to show them where she grew up and experience the boys’ first time in the snow with them. Jennifer will also receive further radiation treatment with the extra support of her extended family.

To help raise funds and show support for the Fitzgibbins family a Facebook group has been established. They are currently aiming to reach 1000 members so please pop on over and say hi. As much as old Facebook can get a bad rap at times it does have an amazing ability to rally troops and make people feel loved and supported.

If you are in a position to donate money you can do so here.
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Wednesday, November 19

Not existing, trying to focus, and galahs

With less than a week to go here in Sunny Karratha it is fair to say I am just a little bit excited. I mean don’t get me wrong Karratha is a lovely little place but for now my time here has just about expired. 

one thing I will miss when we leave
Mr Awesome’s temporary return to the workforce was a brutal reminder of just how much I like having him round 24/7. And not just me either. While the girls haven’t said anything their behaviour suggests that they had become accustomed to having him around all the time as well.

The fact that our days of late have involved whole stacks of nothing may of course have something to do with all of this as well.

In a bid to conserve money we have been trying to spend as much time as possible at home. Which is all well and good apart from when home is a tiny little caravan and most days the temperature reaches forty degrees.

Thankfully there have been a few other kids around so the girls have been able to make a few friends here and there to break up the boredom. Of course their friends inevitably move on though and then devastation ensues because they will never be seen again. Devastation that lasts only till the next van of kids come in I might add. It’s a later, rinse, repeat thing.

Rather than making most of the available downtime and catching up with all my words still waiting to be written I have busily been telling myself of for my lack of productivity. Why I don’t just use the energy to actually do something I have no idea. I guess it is much easier to come up with pathetically weak excuses and then chastise myself for my stupidity.

As much as I try and tell myself that it doesn’t matter if no one reads the blog any more, it does. It makes me all kinds of sad to think that I have failed to find a way to entice people in. But that is perhaps just the story of my life. I somehow fail to entice people in on all kinds of levels.

There are only two people from home that have contacted me since I left. Mind you I have not exactly been writing letters home either, but I did have a fanciful notion that the odd person might have left a little Facebook message here and the inquiring about my travels. Of course I also thought a few might have wished me well before I left but they didn’t. It’s almost like I just ceased to exist.

But enough of all this poor bugger me.

There are people out there fighting real battles, two of which have recently approached me to share their story. Neither of which I have done yet. The thought of failing NaNoWriMo (yet again) has had me avoiding the laptop like it is the plague. 

Today however is a new day and I will treat it as such. I will let go of all my preconceived fears and ridiculous thoughts that continually hold me back and I will take action.

Starting now.

Stay tuned.
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Tuesday, November 11

Birds, Dinosaurs and Magical Sunsets - Day 37

After yesterday involving so little we thought that today would be the complete opposite and see how much we could fit in.

The first port of call was to the 12 Mile Bird Park, which crazily enough was about twelve miles out of Broome. At $40 for a family it made for a perfect starting point for our day out and about. 

Lovely and the Emu having a stand off
Conscious of being out in the heat of the day we set out early and arrived a few minutes before opening. Sometimes I don’t even know who we are any more. Generally we struggle to get somewhere on time, certainly not ever early!

The girls loved looking at all the birds. There was something 80 different species and 600 birds in total. After a while I struggled with looking at all the birds in the cages. Birds are such intelligent creatures that it just doesn't seem fair for them to be stuck inside a cage all day long. I tried to find comfort in the fact that if it weren’t for the owner of the sanctuary some of the birds wouldn’t even be alive as they were rescued animals.

The sanctuary is still relatively new, maybe only twelve months old, so a lot of it was still quite bare. There was also a lot of work being done, with new enclosures in the process of being made so chances are that in years to come the cages that made me a little sad, will slowly disappear.

Lunch was a homemade chicken and mayo roll in the car. The girls were too starving to wait for us to go anywhere else. Having a fridge in the back of the car is one of the most coolest things ever.

After lunch we had a little drive around looking at Broome and headed back to Edna to put our feet up for a bit while we waited for the tide to go out.

One of the things I was most excited to see in Broome were the dinosaur footprints out at Gantheaume Point. Due to where they are located on the beach though they can only been seen at tides lower than 1.6 meters. 

On the hunt for the footprints
It just so happened that low tide today was a little after five o’clock so we decided to take a picnic dinner out with us to have once we had finished exploring.

When we got out there, there were a lot of signs saying that searching for the footprints was not recommended as it was a tad dangerous to be climbing of wet and slippery rocks. We decided it was a risk worth taking.

Yay! We managed to find the dinosaur footprints!
Thankfully as we were heading out along the rocks we encountered a small group of people who had found the prints and were heading back. They pointed us in the right direction and gave a few clues as to where to look. There was a lot of open space to look and only a few prints to be found.

Finding them was pretty cool though and the girls were suitably impressed to see them. The tide was still on it’s way out which meant there were more fossils to be seen but as the light was fading we decided to head back. There is a hovercraft tour which gives detailed tours of all of the footprints but sadly it was a little out of our budget.

The beauty of a sun set over water never fails to amaze me
The final highlight of the day was watching the sun set over water. There is something magical about watching the golden ball gently submerge into the water in the distance. I hadn’t realised how much I had missed seeing it until I saw it.

Zany with the sun in her palm.
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Monday, November 10

Hello Broome!

Having a beach to walk along was pure bliss
 Today was a bit of a recover and supply day. When we finally ventured out it was to gather more food and little else. The girls were a bit overwhelmed with the thought of being able to go inside a shopping centre so most of our time was spent wandering around in the air conditioning.

As a special treat we thought it would be nice to go out for breakfast/brunch (read as we didn’t have anything I felt like cooking or eating at home). Over one hundred dollars later we were all fed and I was rudely reminded as to why we don’t eat out. 

Our original plan after Windjana Gorge was to head back to Derby for a few nights and then hot tail it down the coast to Broome. I am hesitant to cover much more than two hundred kilometres a day. We are after all in no rush and there is so much to see. I am particularly keen to take it extra slow at the moment because I need to fly out of Broome at the end of the month to duck back to Darwin to see McDreamy.

However having been to Derby already it really felt like there was nothing worth going back to look at again. So we settled ourself up for a big day in the car and went straight to Broome yesterday.

Initially we were just going to take our chances and rock up at a random van park and hope they had a vacancy but twenty minutes or so out of town I decided that I couldn’t handle that type of rejection and rang ahead. Which turned out to be a rather wise move.

Due to it still being peak season vacancies were in short supply and it was only my phoning ahead that secured us a spot. Actually secured us the last spot.

By the time we arrived it was well past lunch time and the kids were well past needing food. Rather than make them wait till we had unpacked (which takes approximately ninety minutes) I had the brilliant idea to just unpack enough to turn the fridge on in Edna and then go find some take away for lunch. And by takeaway I meant Maccas. As awful as it can be I was pretty starving and in need of food pronto.

Camp Broome - Roebuck Bay Caravan Park. The oldest van park in Broome.
A quick stop in at Woolies for milk and something for dinner and we headed back to the van park to finish unpacking and have an early night. As much as driving doesn’t actually use much energy it is still incredibly draining.

We are staying at the Roebuck Bay Caravan Park which overlooks the Town Beach. Our site is a row or two back from actually being on the edge of the beach but it didn’t matter much as we could see the water perfectly from where we were. It was only a short walk down to the beach though and before long we were all wandering the beach feeling the sand between our toes. It felt nice to be back on the coastline.

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Tuesday, November 4

I Hate The World Today

I mean I have no real reason to, but I still can’t get the words out of my head. As I sit here sipping champagne and nibbling on caviar wrapped in smoked salmon it doesn’t seem right for the words I hate the world today, to be swirling around inside me, but they are.

Taking photos makes me stabby at the moment because it is
a horribly blatant reminder of the fact that I still
don't have a phone

Traditionally Melbourne Cup Day is a day I spend at my mum’s making small bets and watching the horses race. We have champagne and all kinds of lovely foods. It has been that way since I was thirteen. Well maybe not the champagne part since then but the rest of it. 

I can only recall one year in all that time we weren’t together.

It was way back last century. The year was 1999 but I like the idea of being able to use the term last century. It was an incredibly sucky year for me actually. I had been sent down to Alice Springs for work and knew not a soul. Actually I knew one couple but felt they currently hated my guts on account of being friends with the man who’s heart I had recently torn to shreds. That however is an entirely different story.

Anyway it was hot and I was lonely and life just felt incredibly crap. Not unlike today actually. Which is kinda weird just quietly. I can’t help but wonder if my mother has put some kind of curse on me. If I am not with her on Melbourne Cup Day I am destined to be to spend the day in a grouchy mood.

Mr Awesome even toyed with having the day off so I wouldn’t be alone today. Bless him. Given he only has fourteen more working days left though it just didn’t seem right. Besides the girls are constantly with me. I don’t even know what alone is anymore.

I was adamant that today would be a good day.

It was a chance to start the Melbourne Cup Day traditions with Lovely. Seeing she is thirteen and all.

We went to the shops bright and early this morning to get some treats for lunch. Frankfurts for the girls, smoked salmon and caviar for I. Plus a few little extras here and there. It was going beautifully until Lovely asked for a particular drink. There was already soft drink for her at home so I politely declined the request.

She sulked. Actually she huffed and she puffed and threatened to blow the house down. She told me she would ruin my day. I told her not to bother because that was already taken care of.

In the end the drink came home with us. She told me she didn’t want it any more because it meant I would be grumpy with her the whole day through. Just between you and me I may have felt like tipping the stupid drink over her head. I’m mature like that sometimes.

Tears rolled down my cheeks on the drive home.

For right or wrong I have always tried to make my mother happy. Yet my own daughter is the polar opposite. In fact sometimes I wonder if her life mission is to see how much angst she can cause within me. 

Upon arriving home I set about preparing lunch. Determined that a nice day would still be had. And for the most part I guess it was. There’s just this niggling thing. I can’t even put my finger on it properly I am just bugged. Or sad. Or fed up. Or perhaps just hot and bothered.
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