Planning: The Tip Trip

aussietipfamilyroadtripThe planning for our “Tip Trip” started back when I was pregnant with Riley, who will be two on the 27th and involved selling Shane’s Nissan patrol 4wd Ute.  We had ‘‘The Troll’’ set up so we could live out of it on camping trips, but it was only a two seater and we now needed a family 4wd wagon. Hence an 80 series Toyota Landcrusier was purchased. We left “The Cruiser” as it was with only the addition of a baby capsule. Other than a few nights out bush bashing and an Easter trip to Narrabri It hasn’t really left the yard. You see Shane has vehicle he’s given to use for work purposes and we use my little Mitsubishi Lancer wagon “Lancey” the rest of the time.

To The Tip Map

We intend to travel inland on the way up. First stop will be Lighting Ridge, then onto Chareville, Longreach, Winton, Mount Isa, Lorella Springs, Hells Gate, Lawn Hill, Normanton, Musgrave, Branwell station, the Old Telly Track and finally Loyalty Beach.

From The Tip Map

Then back down the coast via the Peninsular Development Road, the Frenchmans Track to Chili Beach, Captain Billy’s landing, Weipa, Musgrave (again), Lakefield National park, Cooktown, the Creb Track, Cains, Undara, Airle, Lake Awoonga, Caloundra, Coffs Harbour, then home to good old Lake Macquarie.

It’ll be approximately 12,000 kilometers all up, not including sightseeing kilometers.

The modifications and work that has been done on the Cruiser falls into two categories (1) add-on’s for trip and (2) had to do because they were worn out.

(1) Roof rack, roof top tent, in vehicle water tank, rear bar with two spare wheels, Engel 60 ltr camp fridge (transplanted from the Troll), light bars, reverse camera, Hema GPS mapping software for Shane’s iPad, iPad holder, rear storage draws and cargo barrier.

(2) Heavey duty clutch kit, reconditioned transfer case, braided brake lines, suspension (springs & air bags), wheel bearings, cv’s, rust repairs, heat gage and winch.

I’m not going to talk about the cost involved in getting the Cruiser up to scratch as it’s a sore point between my husband and I. The Cruiser has cost us a lot more than planned and wasn’t in as good of a condition as we originally thought – but at least the damn expensive bitch is all good now.

I’ve been so stressed out over the whole trip I think I’ll just calapse once it’s finally here screaming “IT’S FINALLY HAPPENING”. I’m really looking forward to doing sweet f*** all at Lorella Springs & Loyalty Beach, just relaxing, reading, swimming and going for walks through the Daintree rainforest.

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I am worried about our our dog Ellie being home alone for two months. Ok so she won’t really be alone as my parents only live two houses up from us, but still the poor thing will miss us, probably. I am really nervous about being in Croc territory and Riley getting eaten. Like having nightmares about it nervous. We’ve been trying to fit as many supplies in the Cruiser as possible. Drinkable water and food for Riley is first priority. We have seriously limited room for food for ourselves – oh well hopefully i’ll lose some weight on this trip LOL. I’m hopping Riley is going to be a good traveler, the furthest he’s every gone was Narrabri and that was when he was having two naps a day. With so many Kilometers being spent behind the wheel, I’ve downloaded a fair few Audio Books and plan to play them over the otherwise wasted hours of driving.

Oh and did I mention Riley is still in nappies – all those dirty Nappies – Oh My.

Shane’s super keen for the trip, he’s loving the idea of not having to go to work for two months, as well as getting some fishing in, driving the Creb and old Telly Track and taking Riley on the glass bottom boat for the Great Barrier Reef tour. It’ll be wonderful to see his face light up at all the fishes.

The only thing Shane is really worried about is getting the Cruiser stuck somewhere and damaging his pride if we have to be helped out haha.

I imagine Riley is most looking forward to getting to sleep up top of the roof top tent with me and take up all the bed, as well as terrifying me by constantly trying to run off. I think he’s too young to worry about much, but hell hath no fury like a toddler whose banana and yogurt supply runs out. And I know I’ll get a tantrum every time we have to pull him away from park play equipment.

On the trip I’m going to be keeping track of the kilometers traveled, litres of fuel used and our food and accommodation costs.

These are my Approximations before the trip and I think it’ll be interesting to see how far out they end up:

Fuel Costs $3,000.00 – We are not even sure of the exact kilometers we’ll be travelling, it’s rather hard to judge some of the areas we will be going to.

Groceries for three for two months $2,500.00 – so that includes everything from nappies and soap to milk and sausages.

Accommodation $1500.00 – most of the parks we will be staying at do have a small daily fee and even though we will be camping as much as possible there will be a few times where we will be staying at a hotel on the really high kilometer days.

We will be trying to pack as light as possible with the bear minimum of bedding, clothing and cooking equipment being taken. A small first aid kit, emergency EPIRB and recovery gear. While squeezing in camera equipment and a few special small toys of Riley’s. And a small range of tools with the following spare parts: fuel & air filters, assorted hoses, clamps & belts, engine oil, brake & power steering fluid, wheel bearings & grease as well as some assorted fuses.

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Riley “enjoying” the Barrington rain

We did a practice day trip up around Barrington Tops to see how the Cruiser will chug along fully loaded. We averaged 6.41 kms per Litre (15.61 Ltrs/100km) – the Cruiser weighs around three tonne fully loaded, so that’s probably pretty good.

I’m going to keep a journal while we’re away and when we get back share the best bits with you, what we enjoyed the most, how the Cruiser held up on the tracks etc.

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Now for the THANK YOU roll call: Triggs Motors, Dennis Trigg, Gordon Trigg, Sean Davies, Scott Holms, Jacob Hector, Mark Elliot, Graham Mitchell, Paul Clarke, Toronto Brake Service and Carey Bay Auto Electrics for helping out with getting the Cruiser ready to rumble.

And an extra BIG thank you to Gordon Trigg for talking Shane out of spending more money on s**t he didn’t need, like diff lockers front and rear.

Until Next Time, happy traveling everyone.

Family Inheritance: Rosacea I hate you

So My Grandmother, My Mother and I all suffer from Rosacea. Rosacea is a painful and ugly. “Rosacea (pronounced “roh-ZAY-sha”) is a chronic and potentially life-disruptive disorder primarily of the facial skin, often characterized by flare-ups and remissions.”- http://www.rosacea.org normally treated with a cream, either SigmaCort or Rozex (prescription medicine). While being cranky during my last flare up I started looking into using oil to fight the Rosacea Demon. I put in an YLEO order but while I was waiting I purchased some Pure Jojoba Oil from the chemist and crossed between using it and an old tube of Rozex I nicked from my mum (because I couldn’t be bothered going to the doctor to get a script) – Anyway it did the trick and I found the Jojoba Oil instantly soothing.

I started of researching Rosacea and its causes, then natural essential oil remedy’s and that turned into looking at acne remedies as well. I found that generally speaking Rosacea occurs mainly in women over thirty (hmmm I got my first attack at 16). And apparently it gets worse with age (that’ll piss my mum off when I tell her). There are topical antibiotic medications and even oral treatments for really bad cases. I think my mum has a flare up about once a year and I generally only tend to get it when I’m stressed out and emotionally spent. Apparently mild Rosacea is actually really common, but most people confuse it with ache or eczema. I think for the most part (non-doctor opinion) that eczema medicated creams won’t do any harm. I have a cousin who had bad eczema when she was younger, she was given SigmaCort to treat it, my son was given SigmaCort to treat his skin when he was a newborn and I’ve been given SigmaCort for Rosacea, so same/same. But when I got my first attack at 16 I thought it was ache and put a Clean & Clear tonic on it and burned the f**k out of my face making it ten times worse. Moral of the story; you don’t want to treat Rosacea as Ache and you’ll bloody well know it if you do, but if you think it’s eczema and treat it so you’ll probably be fine :-P.

My plan for my next flare up:

Rosacea: I’ll try a two part pure Geranium Essential Oil, ten part pure Jojoba Essential Oil mix applied to area regularly /as necessary. And also swap out my morning and night moisturiser for Pure Rosehip Essential Oil during the flare up.

Ache: I’ll try a two part Tea Tree oil, ten part Jojoba Oil mix applied to area regularly /as necessary (and if it is Rosacea not Ache the Tea Tree oil won’t cause super burn problems).

I gave some of the oils to my mum to try as well, but obviously I can’t give you any results /thoughts until my mum or a have a flare up.

My reasoning behind the oils I picked >>

Geranium Oil: The anti-bacterial properties of the oil! And the aroma of the oil has a calming effect (like I said stress tends to bring it on in me, so the calming effect would be welcome) Apparently Geranium oil helps to stimulate the lymphatic system (I don’t really know much about this), but it boosts the skins natural ability to fight inflammatory skin conditions (that part sounds good eh).

Rosehip Oil: It is Liquid Magic! It’s packed full of nutrients, it’s naturally an anti-inflammatory and has some “retinol” thing in it that promotes the growth of healthy skin cells (Woop Woop). Rosehip oil is fantastical for treating numerous skin problems.

Jojoba Oil: Also Liquid Magic! So apparently skin suffering from rosacea can’t produce enough sebum (had to look up what that was). Sebum helps to hydrate the skin and act as a natural barrier to nastiness. Jojoba oil with its magical sebum-like properties of will help to counteract that. AND the anti-inflammatory properties of the oil will help to reduce the swelling of the skin (can I get a ‘Hell Yeah’).

Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil is a powerful antimicrobial agent, BAM! it Naturally Kills Bacteria! Kill them greasy puss ball pimples.

I hope that made sense and maybe some one finds it helpful, or at least maybe interesting LOL :-).

Push Bikes + Men = Evil

 Yesterday (Easter Monday) my husband Shane decided we’d go for a lovely family bike ride as the rain had finally let up and the sun was out.

Today I am really regretting it. I feared I’d wake up with sore knees as they were aching as I rode, but no they’ve held up alright. My back is burning and biting, although it’s like that 80% of the time so I doubt much of that is the bikes fault – what is the bike fault however is how painful I’m finding it to sit down.

Because of the shape of the frame Riley’s child capsule doesn’t fit on Shane’s ridiculously-expensive-fancy-pants push bike. The capsule however fits on my fitted-with-a-wide-padded-seat push bike. I won’t ride with Riley attached to the bike. I’m too uncoordinated and the entire time I’m freaking out that I’m going crash and hurt him. So Shane rode my bike. I’ve tried to ride Shane’s, but the frame is too long and too tall. So I went and nicked my dad’s pushy, his is nice and short, just like him.

We took off and shortly we had to stop so I could raise the seat as my legs were all squashed up. I then continued with on the bike with it in too high a gear and near killed myself going up a SMALL hill, more my lack of fitness to blame than the gearing through. I pumped my fat little legs as hard and fast as I could. The last time I’d ridden from home to Fassifern I was about twenty kilos lighter and going to the gym three times a week. Oops. I had to stop when it felt like my heart was going to burst out of my chest. I pulled up and tried to hop off the bike. My legs were jelly. There was a ball of pain in my chest. My vision started to dull and spot with the light coming at me in intense waves – did I mention I hadn’t eaten breakfast, dumb ass I am. So I sat down for a while, had some water and decided I needed to take it a bit easier if I was going to make it to Fassifern and back.

I survived, obviously as I’m here having a whinge. I didn’t get any of those happy energy buzzing hormones you’re supposed to get after excising. 😦 No I spent the rest of the day trying to stay awake, lying on the couch watching movies while Riley destroyed the lounge room with crayons.

Today it hurts to sit. Damn male bike seats. Damn push bikes altogether. My butt barely touched the seat on the return trip as I was standing on the pedals so I could straighten my knees. Bikes are evil.

My son enjoyed the trip. Each time Shane would stop to let me catch up, Riley would be calling out “More, More, More”. Men are evil :-P.

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Ready Riley (Edited & Original): Riley inspecting the bikes while we get ready to go for a ride.

Sunday is cleaning day

43346_set_of_rubber_gloves-30182317_std I used to enjoying cleaning my parents’ house for pocket money as a teenager. Money meant red skins, CDs and cigarettes (sorry mum). But now I have to do it for free, ok I do love a clean house and yes the mould and fungi won’t kill us if I kill it first, but that’s just not enough – I still hate it. I feel like I’m wasting my time. Damn baby and husband are just going to mess the place up again. Life is too short for cleaning dishes, scrubbing toilets and hanging out washing on the line. I’d much rather spend my Sundays reading. Maybe one day I’ll be rich enough to hire a cleaner. That’s the dream. For the time being I am slowly training my son to help me; he will pick up and put away his toys, he will pick up his dad’s dirty clothes and put them in the washing basket, he will pick up his dads shoes and put them back in the wardrobe. If you give him a cloth he’ll wipe over table tops and bench tops, not that he can apply enough pressure to actually do much and he has very short arms, but he seems to enjoy it (and currently I only have to pay him in hugs).

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Harry Potter Book Night

HPblogbuttonFor Harry Potter Book Night I’m re-reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I won’t get it all finished tonight, so I thought I’d quickly share a little bit of Potter Love.

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“Don’t forget to give Neville our love!’ Ginny told James as she hugged him.

‘Mum! I can’t give a professor love!’

‘But you know Neville-‘

James rolled his eyes.

‘Outside, yeah, but at school he’s Professor Longbottom, isn’t he? Ican’t walk into Herbology and give him love….”

During the ‘deciding on a name process’ when I was pregnant with my son, once we found out he was going to be a he, I wanted to name him Edmund or Neville. Edmund after Edmund Pevensie of C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia series and Neville (I’m sure you guessed it) after the blundering, brilliant, loveable, kind hearted, strong willed force that is Neville Longbottom. My husband wouldn’t have a bar of either names and my son ended up as Riley, not named after anything with a deeper meaning, just a name my husband liked. The compromise was that I got to choose his second name and I did – It is Paul after my father, another brilliant, loveable, strong willed force. To be honest I’ve grown to love the name Riley Paul and wouldn’t change it, but if we do go down the baby road a second time and it appears it’s going to be a boy, I’ll be pushing for a Nev or Eddy again.

“But this is touching, Severus,” said Dumbledore seriously. “Have you grown to care for the boy, after all?”

“For him?” shouted Snape. “Expecto Patronum!”

From the tip of his wand burst the silver doe. She landed on the office floor, bounded once across the office, and soared out of the window. Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears.

“After all this time?”

“Always,” said Snape.”            

I can’t read that without getting chills.

“Albus Severus,” Harry said quietly, so that nobody but Ginny could hear, and she was tactful enough to pretend to be waving to Rose, who was now on the train, “you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew.”

We start off hating, fearing and suspecting Snape along with Harry, all the time not knowing that under Snape’s nastiness he is always looking out for harry out of love for Lilly.

Oh Snape, Snape, Shape. In this, the last book, your character cemented itself in my heart. Always!

Crying Babies

“Why is it that I am always the only one who hears our son crying in the night?” I ask for the millionth time.

I wake even when my son makes the slightest carry on, but my husband sleeps soundly on. Well he sleeps soundly on unless it’s the second time my son’s woken up during the night and I elbow my husband in the ribs until he wakes up, then inform him it’s his turn to check on the baby (I say baby even though he’s eighteen months old now and I’m not sure if he’s technically still a baby). To my husband’s credit, if I wake him and tell him to go check on our son, he normally does it with minimal grumbling.

It used to be that my son would wake up and just want a hug or bottle then be happy to go back to sleep, but in the last 6 months or so it’s been more like he’s having nightmares. You go in to check on him and he’s still asleep. It is rather disturbing seeing my baby boy tossing and turning, screaming with tears rolling out of closed eyes. Thankfully just picking him up or patting his back or tummy does the trick and he goes back in a calm sleep.

I remember reading somewhere that it’s hardwired into a woman’s brain to register those high pitched distressed tones of one’s offspring. But dang it, I tell you I’d like a night where I sleep through and my husband wakes up.

^ Riley awake and happy In his cot ^

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^ Shane, Riley and I ^

Hello 2015

So 2014 is about to come to an end and I have no idea where it went. Crazy fast. I had a baby in 2013 and then BOOM it’s 2015.

The first eight months of 2014 were wonderful, watching my bubba boy grow and develop into a really cheeky little smarty pants who amazes me every day.
But alas September was a bittersweet month; we bought our own home only two houses up from my parents :-), but we lost our beloved fifteen year old wolfhound cross Buster :-(.

2014 was full on; I went back at work four days a week and was going to TAFE at night two times a week. I managed to publish two poetry eBooks and one tree book, but we won’t talk about how behind I am in my TAFE work. Riley has been attending day care when I’m at work and other then a little tantrum at drop off time, seems to be enjoying it.

We are down to four; Shane and I, Riley now seventeen months old and Ellie our four year old rather small wolfhound cross. We’ve all settled into our new forever home and are looking forward to celebrating Riley’s second Christmas and all that 2015 has to offer. I really hate the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, but love catching up with my family.

I am determined in 2015 to (A) not miss a Friday Fictioneers (B) Finish my Cert 4 in Work Health & Safety (C) make some serious progress on my fiction works (D) as always, lose weight and get fit – this one I’m not as determined about as the others, obviously because I find it the hardest, damn Crispy M&M you will be the death of me (E) I’m going to up my Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2015 to 80 books! that will be a record for me if I achieve it and (F) I’m going to sign up for the >>Debut Author Challenge ButtonI’ve read some debut authors this year and really enjoyed them. I see this challenge as a great way to find out about the other Debuts that other challenges may come across. It is easy to pick up the same author or one of the well publicized top ten best seller at your local supermarket to read, but in 2015 I’d like to focus on helping the new guys starting out. **AND** (G) I’m also signing up for the >>

 For my first Diverse Books I’m going to start off with the three that “Reading Wishes” recommends – The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell – Jasper Jones by Criag Silvey – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han.

**AND** (F) I’m also also signing up for the >>

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Where I’m going to try and read as many books by Aussie Authors as possible.

Anyway I’m going to go get some reading in 🙂 Until Next Time – Happy Reading.

Lavender and Frankincense Part Two

This is a progress post following me trying Oils in my Face moisturiser.

After the amazing results I’ve had with putting YLEO’s Lavender into my body moisturiser (blog post link below) I decided to give it a go in my facial moisturiser, so I did some reading on the many uses of the Oils I had at home and I added the YLEO’s Lavender and Frankincense to my face moisturiser and I’ve been using it for the last two weeks. After adding the oils the cream definitely feels heavier on my face. I can feel the cream mix sitting on my face for a while after application, but It smells divine and my skin feels wonderful. I’m going to finish off the double oil moisturiser I have made up, but next time around I’ll add the lavender to my face wash and just the frankincense to the moisturiser and see how that goes. Also it’s summer here and has been rather hot, just step out of the shower and your sweating again kind of hot, I actually don’t think I’d notice the weight of the cream on my face the other nine months of the year.

My Previous Post – Part One – https://sarahfairbairn.com/2014/11/24/lavender-frankincense/

Product shots fro new catalog at YL farm in Mona

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Lavender & Frankincense

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I’ve been using YLEO Lavender mixed in with my Jojoba moisturiser for a while now; I use it on my feet in the mornings. In the last couple of years I’ve had terrible problems with the skin on my feet. I tried countless chemist products to no avail, but after using the Jojoba moisturiser with added YLEO Lavender for a few months, my skin so no longer painful and scaly (it was like a chemical burn, but I couldn’t figure out what was causing it). I stopped using it for a while and found that my skin got rather dry again, but rubbing a little bit of cream in each morning is a small price to pay for pretty, painless feet.

I got badly burnt at a 4WD & Camping show last month and decided to give my jojoba lavender cream a try on my sunburn, as I’d read it was one of the MANY things lavender is good for. I was really impressed; it worked better than anything else I’ve ever used on sunburn. It was really soothing: the heat, pain and redness were taken away unbelievably fast.

Since the Lavender has worked so well on my feet I decided to add a drop to my face moisturiser and it’s been lovely and refreshing. I sat down on the weekend and wrote down the names of the oils I currently have, so I could look up what all their benefits are to make sure I was getting the most out of them. I came across some notes I’d scribed in my YLEO guide book about the benefits of Frankincense in skincare, so I’ve added a drop of that to my face moisturiser too. I’ll let you know how that goes once I’ve been using it for a bit longer.

I’m still keeping up my oils resume and supplements as I’ve mentioned in pervious posts and I can honestly say, bar the extra 23kilos I’m carrying, I’m feeling better than I have in years. If I could just kick these sugar cravings it’d make those 23kilos come off a hell of a lot faster. I want to get down to 70 kilos and stay there, any lower than that and I just can’t maintain it. It’s been five years since I was at 70 and I fell I’ve dealt with the issues that caused me to attempt to eat away my pain. For my height my “healthy” weight range according to my doctor is 58-72kilos (dang! I think I’d look terrible at 58). So onwards and upwards I go.

Previous oil posts >>

https://sarahfairbairn.com/2014/10/11/potions-pills-and-nightmare-chills-oh-my/

https://sarahfairbairn.com/2014/09/02/major-life-overhaul-pt-2/

https://sarahfairbairn.com/2014/07/31/yes-a-major-life-overhaul-is-due/