30 April 2013

Setback, for a little while anyway.

Why oh why is nothing ever easy?

In my last post I announced a date for my surgery had finally been decided and I had been fitted into a date vacated by someone else. Three years of waiting to be fixed were going to be over by next Thursday afternoon.

So I rang my mum, who booked her annual leave, I teed up friends to share the childcare duties. I even started mentally packing my bag for what would be a minimum 4 night stay and prepared for the recovery. I was even quitting sugar, caffeine and alcohol in preparation. I've been doing over 40 sit ups a day to prepare my abs for excellent use (they would be using those muscles to fashion a breast shape with).

And then this morning, as I was standing out in the forecourt of a tyre shop, after just getting half my body drained with blood for my pre-op check I got a phone call from my super nervous breast nurse (nervous because she had to break the news to me. Don't worry I didn't shoot the messenger). They had to cancel. A surgeon on the op team was unavailable.

Lucky I was wearing sunglasses as tears of frustration immediately came to the fore. And I'm still upset. To say I'm gutted is an understatement.
This is not some minor procedure, this is a massive deal and getting everything organised for post op is a big ask of a lot of people.

So, no new boobs for now. It's been postponed.

But you have four rowdy bouncing kids with you its hard to stay sad and feel sorry for oneself, so I took them for a ramble around The Mount and fed them hot chocolate and hot chips before heading home to break the news to my family. It's disappointing but not life threatening. It's out of my control, but it really really really really sucks all the same.

* I have two beautiful 11yr olds in my kitchen right now making me a chocolate fudge cake to make me feel better. And my 8yr old told me I deserve a glass of wine. Kids are pretty damn awesome aye?

24 April 2013

A Date...

So I think my prayers have been answered.
This afternoon I got a call from my breast team.
They've had a cancellation...and they thought that I would be best to replace with.

I'm booked in for two weeks from yesterday. 9th of May. 
There's a crap load to sort out, childcare arrangements to be made and my stomach is already rolling with nerves.

My long road is nearly at an end.

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. Now I'm off to have a cry, a cry of relief and happiness.


22 April 2013

Valle de la Luna: Valley of the Moon

Valle de la Luna. This is where to go to see the most amazing sunset in the world. And its called the Valle de la Luna because the terrain looks otherworldly, perhaps like the moon. Or perhaps what like Mars might look like. In fact it replicates as close as possible what Mars might be like terrain-wise that NASA used this area to test their Mars rover.
The sun hits the red rocks and makes them glow, the salt in the valleys shine like snow and every detail of every grain of sand shows. It's amazingly beautiful. I took photos but I feel like even they don't do enough justice...but they're the best I could do. The light here was perfect in every way.

 We climbed to the top of a dusty peak filled with a million other tourists and hippies and watched the sun hit the landscape and disappear behind the mountains over in Peru. It felt magical (I've used that word a lot in relation to this area) and breathtaking and I walked back down feeling so privileged to be able to have seen such an event in all its beauty and being again in awe at the majesty of God's handiwork. No wonder the hippies were there meditating, it was a very spiritual place. Although judging from all the tourists it wouldn't have been a very calm place for meditation!

I passed this lady being helped up the hill by a younger woman. I'm not sure if she ever made it to the top in her choice of footwear...

There were no other kids up there and I was really struck by how lucky our kids were to have seen this at their age. Behind us on the way down the mountain were some young backpacking girls from the UK, all talking about their mum's home cooking and what meals they missed. I reckoned they were travelling on the baked beans variety cheap and had spent their summers probably saving for this trip...and here were my kids tripping around these amazing places and taking it all in their stride. I know that sounds horribly like I'm boasting but I'm not because this trip was a real miracle for us to have gone and we owe this opportunity to some very special people. I just really really hope the kids will remember this forever and be grateful for the experiences they've had on this adventure. I know I am. 

We nearly missed out on going as the proprietor of our hotel told us it closed at 6pm, and it was already 6.10pm when we left our hotel for the 10 minute drive there. So we raced to the gate to find the Valle closed at 7pm for the sunset. 
Thank you Monic for ignoring her!! xx

20 April 2013

Tercera parte: San Pedro de Atacama

The Atacama Desert. It's like another world. An alien world and certainly somewhere like I've never seen before. I loved the town of San Pedro so much I kinda secretly wish I was still there. It's a magical place and it grabs you and makes you fall in love with it, despite the copious amounts of dust. No wonder that 11,000 years ago it was founded by hunters and collectors searching for water in the arid desert, then the Inca's found it and dominated until the first Spanish explorers of Chile settled there and made a town which feels hardly changed since the 17th century...it's an oasis in the middle of nowhere. There is nothing but salt and rocks and volcanoes all around. These days its a tourist haven and a place for miners to grab some supplies. So I'll leave you with our experiences, which really can be summed up very easily in photo form.

These are actual salt lakes that you can float in. The salt and mineral content is so strong you only float like you would in the Dead Sea. They are SO deep even the kids could go in, its impossible to sink!!

But you do get left with a crusty layer of salt afterwards...


I have more because this place is so magical. The Valle de la Luna has to have its own post.

19 April 2013

My Week or so Roundup

It's been a little bit quiet here on the blog of late. I've been busy I guess just getting through life, and it's sure been a busy life since we got back. I think that I've finally knuckled down and begun the year in earnest after our travels, only to find its already mid-April. 

This last week or so we've had a kid on school camp, chopped wood for winter, we've rescued a kitten, said goodbye to said kitten, dealt with our fair share of tantrums from three very tired children, entertained friends with yummy Chile inspired food, and celebrated a wedding anniversary (a 3 course meal cooked by hubby...SUCH a treat). Life has kinda been playing at full tilt. Oh and I've learned to knit...something I've found ridiculously exciting.
But today is the last day of Term One and I'm all the more pleased for it.

I know I missed the much talked about and anticipated bloggers conference in Christchurch, I was very envious of those going! I kept up to date with it all on Instagram and I've read all your blog posts...count me in for the next one okay?!

In the good news department I have finally heard about surgery and the surgical team is being organised at this very moment. I'll hear a proper date soon (I know, it totally sounds like a stuck record right?!) but they've told me its now looking like June. I'm now at the stage I just don't care...I'll just be happy to have a date so I can plan! With a possible 12 week recovery that takes me through the winter and into spring and suddenly the year seems very short. I'm a bit ho-hum about this right now because every time surgery seems near it falls out of my grasp. It makes planning my life very difficult indeed. No job till I get this out the way and I feel like I've been waiting an age.
Patience is a virtue right?

Although my camera has been on holiday my phone hasn't and my Instagram feed has been busy...

18 April 2013

Apple Meringue Pie

This is an apple winter warmer dessert with a bit of a change from the usual normal pie or crumble. Don't get me wrong, the humble apple pie can never be beaten but this one makes a bit more of a showstopper for those nights you want to impress. And its also delicious.
I made this for a dinner party in the weekend and served it up with some caramel sauce. It was a delicious end to the meal.

And the recipe is easy if you use shop bought sweet short pastry.

200g sweet short pastry

4 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup water

2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar

Peel and core apples and place all ingredients into a large pot. Cook until apples are soft. Sometimes if it's not thick enough I add a little bit of cornflour mixed with cool water to thicken it up. Put aside and cool.

Line a tin with rolled out pastry and blind bake in 180deg C oven for 10 minutes. Remove the baking beans and bake for a further 10 minutes. Cool shell. 

When you are ready to serve up, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the sugar slowly while beating on a high speed until it is white and the peaks are stiff. 

Add the apple mixture to the pastry shell, pipe or spoon meringue over and pop in the oven for 20 minutes or until the meringue is cooked.

Serve immediately with caramel sauce or icecream.

This is also my entry for this months Sweet New Zealand, hosted by me.