We were supposed to spend the first half of June in the Northern Territory and South Australia, but ended up being restricted to a 5km radius from our house instead. Lockdown 4.0. So the month started off pretty bad, but I tried to make the most of it.

Instead of watching the Melbourne Demons vs Brisbane Lions game at Traegar Park in Alice Springs, NT, we watched it at home in our freezing house. :'( Dees won though. And we had delicious sushi bowls.

I had two weeks booked off work but cancelled the first week and worked instead. We were in strict lockdown so there wasn’t much I could do anyway. I actually got pretty depressed. It was just extremely frustrating that I was back at work, not on holiday, couldn’t reschedule the holiday, couldn’t go to the gym, couldn’t plan my training, couldn’t see my friends, couldn’t look forward to anything.

So I decided I needed a project.

I used that quiet week at work to plan and gather supplies for the following week.

My Saturday gym sessions currently have two exercises from blocks: block snatch and block cleans. I am very lucky that I can train in our garage, but I didn’t have blocks, which meant that I have to do the exercises from a hang position instead. I HATE HANG SNATCHES SO MUCH. Enough that I decided that I wanted to make my own blocks for home.

Originally I was going to make very simple criss-cross ones like I’d seen on the internet, but 1) I wanted to them to have two height options, and 2) I calculated that it would need around $150 worth of wood. So I emailed dad to ask if I could make them without the center supports because I don’t actually lift that much weight. He wrote back with a few questions and then 24 hours later he’d made me a brand new design in OpenSCAD! I could edit the dimensions to what is available here and it even generated a list of supplies. Very cool. Thanks dad. The new plan only used about $70 of wood!

It took me three afternoons to put them together, but I honestly found it very satisfying (other than stripped screws, which was remedied by replacing my screwdriver bit). I had fun using my new drop saw and circular saw, and didn’t even lose any fingers. Thanks dad for reminding me of when mom had to go to the hospital after a drop saw accident at the cottage AFTER I had finished cutting all of the pieces.

They work great! They nestle together perfectly and they don’t bounce or move at all. I’m very happy. I’ll probably add strips on the top to stop the bar from rolling off when I’m not holding it. I only used them one time so far though because the gym re-opened the next week lol. But there is covid in NSW at the moment so it’s probably just a matter of time before we are back in lockdown again. :/

Hide The Pain Harold Katrina.

If you’re in lockdown and don’t bake bread, DID YOU EVEN LOCKDOWN?

I made this bread with leftover whey instead of water, because the internet told me you could do that. But it tasted weird, I don’t think I would do it again. Or at least I would use 1/2 whey and 1/2 water.

Another lockdown cooking project: beef bourguignon. It took 3 days!!! And an entire bottle of wine!!! But it was dang delicious, and made like 8 servings, so in the end I think it was worth it.

One very good piece of news was that my citizenship test didn’t get cancelled. At that point we were allowed to go 25km from home and I guess they decided that it was essential enough that they could let the immigration officers work in the office.

They told me it would take 2 hours, and I had to bring in all sorts of documents. But the dude only asked for my passport and drivers license and I was out of there in 15 minutes, including doing the test TWO TIMES… because I failed the first time….. OOPS. (I got 95% but I failed one of the essential questions because apparently I am a monarchist. I got 100% the second time btw.)

So I spent a couple hours wandering the quiet city with my camera. I went to the Lululemon outlet, got bubble tea, borek, and popped into a whole bunch of shops too. It’s a good thing I didn’t get covid because my exposure site list would have been very long, haha. Most of my pictures didn’t turn out very well. I am definitely still learning how to use my camera.

I just realized that I never actually posted my 2016 video on here. I spammed it everywhere else, but not on the ol’ blog. So… here it is! What an epic year it was.

My favourite clips are Feb 29th, May 12th, and May 21st. :D

After 9ish months of waiting, Scott was granted Canadian citizenship.

The ceremony was okay, as ceremonies go. Quite organized and efficient. But the way the room was set up it was very difficult to get nice pictures. Scott was actually as far away as possible from where I was forced to sit. Ah well.

They all had to say their names, repeat the oath (I did as well) and sing the national anthem before receiving their citizenship certificates. Then a quick photo with the judge, and then done!

After work we had a party at our house. We had butter tarts, maple cookies, ketchup chips, Canadian chocolate bars, poutine, tourtiere, pâté chinois, Canada Dry, and a whole lot of Canadian Club and Molson Canadian. We had a maple leaf cutting out competition and a citizenship test leaderboard, and an epic Canadian music playlist. Scott and I enjoyed ourselves immensely, and I hope everyone else did as well.

Next step: passport! And then an effortless trip across the border, just because we can.

The view from the top of the track in Whistler.

I spent the weekend helping out with the ICC and NAC skeleton races. They had me wiping runners, measuring temperatures, timing the ice box, folding clothes and more. It was actually more work than I expected, especially the first day, but it was a good way to learn FIBT rules so I don’t accidentally disqualify myself in the future. Plus I got to watch dozens of athletes push off the block, which was super motivating.

I especially liked how supportive everyone was to the Korean slider who was still very new to sliding and especially the (challenging) Whistler track. Everyone still cheered her on to slide smart and slide her best even though she only tentatively ran off the block. It was the same when I was in Calgary last year, and it’s so helpful. There are some great people in skeleton.

I had an awesome sliding session on Friday night. My coach and I are now actively in the process of getting me ready to slide from the top. He told me a new thing to try in corner 7 and I got it right in my second run and went right through the straightaway (corner 8) without tapping and right into corner 9 cleanly. It was the first time EVER I have gone through 8 without hitting and it felt amazing. I cheered to myself as I went through corner 9. So good. Hopefully I can replicate it next week.

IN OTHER NEWS…

Today is Scott’s last day as only an Australian. We are going to his citizenship ceremony tomorrow morning!!! So exciting!!! Then we’re having a little party at our house in the evening.

And dad is arriving on Wednesday!!!

sonobe

Scott really wanted to put his sonobe on his head. He mentioned it to me three different times.

Rosemarie and I are going to Listowel next month to visit our grandparents. We managed to get a REALLY REALLY REALLY good deal on flights thanks to YVR Deals. $278 roundtrip including the taxes!

Casual life is weird. When I look forward in my calendar I look really NOT busy, but when I look back in my calendar I see that I worked 3-5 days a week pretty much every week. Finger crossed this keeps happening for the next month until the summer schedule kicks in (where I know I have tons of work).

Scott’s citizenship application has been officially received. They sent him his study pack today. For his test in…. approximately 24 months according to the immigration website.

I should do another crafts update because I have been doing a lot of crocheting and cross stitching!! Soon.

I keep going through waves of emotion about off-season skeleton training. From “I SHOULD TRAIN SUPER HARD SO I CAN BE COMPETITIVE NEXT WINTER AND WIN RACES” to “I’M NEVER GOING TO ACTUALLY BE A COMPETITOR SO WHAT’S THE POINT” and back and forth and back and forth. I find it really difficult to train after working certain tiring shifts at work though, so my regimen hasn’t been super consistent, but I still have been doing weights a few times a week. And I actually started running again, something that I really really hate, but is necessary.