I have examined these frogs from all perspectives and I am still unsure if they are all the same frog. The one in the bottom right hand corner was discovered in December 2013 but the others were taken on 9 March 2014
In 1988 I was slapped with an “un-roadworthy Certificate”, locally known as a Yellow Sticker, on my faithful old Holden HR station wagon. The police demanded I repair the vehicle before I drove it on the road again, but I couldn’t afford it at the time,. I was about to leave Perth anyway, to go to live in Newman in the Pilbara Region, so I wouldn’t be needing my car.
I was very sorry to let go of that car as we had traveled lots of kilometres without any problems at all. I wasn’t actually driving it when the police put it off the road. A girl friend was minding it for me while I was interstate.
There is another sad story as she was looking after my cat as well. Now it wasn’t her fault for either of the catastrophes – it was just really unfortunate that my cat was hit by a car and didn’t survive. It is very difficult to stop cats from roaming! As you can imagine, it was a big shock when I got back home to Perth. I felt sorry for my friend as she was so upset about what had happened!
I got $200 for my car and bought a push bike with the money
Below you can read some famous quotes but I thought I would first share my own thoughts on the topic.
My formula consists of putting one foot in front of the other and doing what needs to be done. Sometimes that means focusing on the next five to ten minutes, or other times it may mean taking life one day at a time. Another successful strategy I have used is to be recharged by the natural environment – it may be a garden, a forest or the ocean.When all else fails, withdraw briefly and then get up and try again :-).
“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” (Ella Fitzgerald)
“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.” (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
“Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.” (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
“The man who has done his level best… is a success, even though the world may write him down a failure.” (B.C. Forbes)
“History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.” (B. C. Forbes)
I am sure I am not alone in thinking there are some paintings in galleries throughout the world that I could have done with my eyes shut! I am not anti-art or without an interest in these things, but I wonder what criteria makes some art works GREAT and some just, ordinary.
I have watched shows on art fraud where even the specialists in the field find it difficult to pick out the fake. If I had a fake painting hanging on my wall (and didn’t know it was fake) would I enjoy it any less than the real thing?
Then there are the plethora of prints of original works. I support the concept that artists should be paid for their creations, however, why would I buy the original for $5,000 when I could have a beautifully framed print of the same for $200.00 maximum.
Can you pick the originals in my slide show?
What are your thoughts on the $ value of art?
I wrote a poem this morning as part of the writing course I am doing.
It just so happens that my school experience links with this week’s photo challenge. As it is a PHOTO challenge, I have chosen an old school photo to match the theme. I really DID feel abandoned on that day. It didn’t take long to get used to school, but I still didn’t enjoy it. I have only learned the joy of studying in recent years
Mum left me in a big room
Boys, girls, Sister Kevin
I struck out in fear
I had to stay – Mum left me
Boys, girls, lunch boxes
The stale smell of unwashed flannels
Banana sandwiches every-day
Awful warm milk at playtime
Spelling is fun h I p p o p o t o m u s
Cuisenaire blocks – to add up and take away
A prize for top of the class
Maybe school is OK
Latin Mass, First Communion
Rosary beads, confession, and penance
The smell of incense
Not at Mass? Line up for the strap
Decades have come and gone
Back to the same church
This time it is saying goodbye
To my loved ones and to my past
The unit I am studying this semester is about being an author and getting published. Our first task is to read an essay by Lucy Neave about the different processes used by two writers: Sonya Harnett and Helen Garner. Their processes are very different from each other and I won’t go into that here, however, it made me think about what processes, if any, I use to write.
I haven’t written short stories or novels and not sure that I ever will. I have written about 700 blog articles though. I figure that must count for something. I wonder if I can make the move from blogger to writer! This unit of study may help me bridge the gap. The reading list below may be of interest to some … sorry the print is a bit small.
So, how does a blog idea materialize? Some of my best ideas come when I am mindlessly doing household tasks like ironing or making beds. When I get the core of an idea, I write a few notes down near the computer so that I won’t forget. Once I have the core idea I start writing, knowing that it is a draft and if it doesn’t shape up, I can delete it.
Sometimes I find I need to do a little research to give a bit more substance to the idea. I will save a draft and look for relevant information or images that I can add to my blog. This process may happen a few times with the one blog. I don’t spend much time thinking about the grammar or punctuation but I do check to see if it sounds alright to me. I might make some amendments.
If I was to write a short story or novel I imagine I would need to develop the process further. Fortunately, the practice of blogging regularly means I don’t sit staring at a blank screen waiting for inspiration. I just write! Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Of course, I am not being marked for my blogging so there is not the same degree of pressure here.
So, please share if you have any processes that you use to help shape your writing. I would love to hear them
PS Not grumpy anymore!
Is there an acceptable way to be miserable? These past few weeks I have been feeling really moody under the surface but have been trying really hard to hide how I feel. Today I just feel like being honest about where I am at – and it is not a good space!
I have everything to be grateful for and nothing to complain about – except perhaps a desire for linking up with some people with similar interests. I get a lot of satisfaction from connecting with my online friends but sometimes it needs to be face-to-face.
I have signed up with a Creative Writing group that commences meeting on 10 March – hopefully that will hit the spot :-).
I am trying to make the most of this stage of my life but I still feel redundant at times. To counteract this, I have been working on another blog about Baby Boomers at Encore Australia and looking at all the positive opportunities open to me and others my age.
Anyway, some nice flowers to brighten the day:
I have been making a special effort to cook something different each week that I have never cooked before.
Tonight I am cooking RICE PORK LARB – click HERE for original recipe and instructions
1.5 cups of jasmine rice, rinsed
I tablespoon of peanut oil
I tablespoon of chopped lemon-grass (I will have to see if my neighbour has some or I will be using a lemon!)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
500g of pork mince
I red onion (I hope a brown one will do!), halved, thinly sliced
1/2 small pineapple, chopped
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 teaspoons of caster sugar (ordinary sugar will have to do!)
1 tablespoon of light, soy sauce
2 limes, juiced
12 small cos lettuce leaves (I only have iceberg lettuce)
1/3 cup of roasted peanuts, chopped
1. Cook rice following absorption method on packet. Remove from heat. Cover and stand for 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Set aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile, heat a wok (I don’t have one :-() over medium heat. Add oil, lemon-grass and garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add pork and cook, breaking up lumps with a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add a 1/2 cup of cold water. Simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes or until water is absorbed. Stir in onion and pineapple. Set aside to cool.
3. Place fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce and 1/3 cup of lime juice in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Add sauce mixture and pork mixture to rice. Stir to combine. Arrange lettuce on a platter. Spoon over rice mixture and sprinkle with peanuts before serving.
*** It was very nice
Many local “baby boomers” are taking part in a new four-year study on healthy ageing. I recently received a letter in the post inviting me to take part and I happily agreed to participate.
The State Government is contributing $1 million to the Busselton Population Medical Research Foundation Inc to conduct the study. The Foundation is working in conjunction with researchers from The University of Western Australia, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Edith Cowan University, Curtin University, Lions Eye Institute and Ear Science Institute of Australia.
I had to fast from midnight and arrive at the facility at 7.30am this morning. The process started with a range of blood tests, including one for my DNA. Afterwards they provided me with toast and Vegemite for breakfast, then on with lots more tests.
I was there for three hours in total and there wasn’t a minute where I wasn’t being tested for one thing or another.
The study hopes to include about 4,000 people. There are around 7,000 “baby boomers” living locally but not everyone wants to take part in research. From my point of view, it was a great opportunity to get a comprehensive medical check-up for free!
Researchers are investigating factors related to:
- Obesity, nutrition and physical activity
- Heart and blood vessel disease
- Stroke and disability
- Dementia and mental disease
- Respiratory and sleep health
- Physical function
- Spinal pain
- Hearing loss
- Vision loss
Media references from the original press release in 2009.
Jennie Hui (Busselton Population Medical Research Foundation) (+61 4) 11 233 458
Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 5563 / (+61 4) 32 637 716
Originally posted on Encore Australia:
The bottom, purple rectangle represents our childhood up until around twenty years of age. The cream rectangle reflects from around age twenty-one to forty-five years.
The blue section with lots of blue butterflies symbolizes forty-six years to eighty years. The butterflies represent creativity, productivity and all things positive.
The top purple rectangle with the silver butterflies represents our old age. Now, I know of many people of eighty or more who don’t consider themselves to be old, so the dividing line is variable.
What I wanted to highlight with this project/post was those years from forty-six to eighty years. The youngest Baby Boomers would now be around fifty and the oldest around sixty eight-years. We are…
View original 48 more words
When I got up this morning I came across my little teddy bear that my Mum gave me many years ago. I spent a few moments just looking at it and remembering her.
I used to collect teddy bears of all shapes, sizes, textures and colours. My Mum wasn’t one for collecting pretty things. I remember she hated ribbons on dresses and used to cut them off! So I was very surprised one day when I was visiting her and she gave me this little knitted bear. She said, ‘I saw this, and thought of you.’
It isn’t the prettiest bear, but the fact that Mum thought of me and bought it for me, makes it a real treasure in my eyes.
PS I still have my bear collection and have been tempted to give them away on many occasions but I can’t bring myself to part with them
Today, or I should say, tonight, I am having a sleep study.
I am not a good sleeper and have been known to SNORE (so I am told :-)) THRASH about and GASP in my sleep. I am required to go to Sleep and Snore Solutions and get wired up (see below) and then go home and sleep! I return to get unwired tomorrow. Should be interesting
- O sleep, O gentle sleep, nature’s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee, that thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down, and steep my senses in forgetfulness.
Some flowers to brighten your day
Nature always brightens my day. I hope your day is a happy one
Each week I am trying a new dish that I have never cooked before. This is what I cooked today!
TASTE OF HOME – Click on the link below for the web version of the recipe
- 2 veal cutlet (about 4 ounces each)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 pound fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
- Flatten cutlets to 1/8-in. thickness. In a resealable plastic bag,combine the flour, salt and pepper. Add veal; seal bag and shake to coat evenly. In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter and oil. Add veal; cook over medium heat for about 1 minute on each side or until juices run clear. Remove and keep warm.
- Add mushrooms to skillet; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Spoon over veal. Stir broth into skillet, stirring up any browned bits. Add parsley and remaining butter; cook and stir 2 minutes longer or until slightly thickened. Pour over veal and mushrooms. Yield: 2 servings.
I served the veal with mashed potato, silver-beet (from my garden), Brussels sprouts and carrots.
You’ve been granted magical engineering skills, but you can only use them to build one gadget or machine. What do you build?
I would build a widget for my blog so that no matter what I wrote about, the widget would give a sprinkle or two of magic dust and my blog will become viral. It will be on Facebook and even in the news.I would also be Freshly Pressed on WordPress.
Wow, wouldn’t that be wonderful!
But seriously now, I wish I knew how to make a really successful blog or website. Successful being determined by the number of views, likes and subscribers. I really enjoy blogging and the interaction with other bloggers, but, just once in a while it would be great to see my statistics sky-rocket!
What is the secret?
I am currently reading The Big Shift: Navigating to the New Stage Beyond Midlife, by Mark Freedman. As a result of learning about Marc and the Encore movement I decided to start-up a blog/website called Encore Australia.
I am hoping to tap into the numbers of baby boomers in Australia who are currently trying to navigate the second half of their lives in the 21st Century with out-dated guidance from the previous century.
My own experience bears witness to the uncharted terrain traversed after giving up full-time employment. I now feel better informed due to reading Marc Freedman’s book and finding other resources on the internet.
An interesting organisation I found today is The Transition Network. It provides a range of services to women 50+.
Once again, I am looking for similar resources that may be available in Australia. I will do some more research tomorrow
In the second half of last year I did a unit of study titled Production, Editing and Design. At the conclusion of the unit (I passed comfortably) I stated to many friends and family that I am NOT going to do any more studying. I admit that the editing part really did my head in. Also my tutor was not very helpful. The feedback she provided was inadequate – she would just say ‘that is wrong’ but not give me any clues about HOW it was wrong!
I thought I could edit pretty well but I discovered it is very difficult. One thing I still haven’t mastered is the use of dashes and hyphens.
Do you know that there are:
- en dashes (the width of the letter n)
- em dashes (the width of the letter m)
- double en dashes
- double em dashes
- em/en dashes with spaces
Keep in mind that hyphens are another class again! Do you get the picture?
So … I have one more unit to complete to achieve my Graduate Certificate. I was scheduled to do Communication Practices in the second half of this year. I rang the uni to check its scheduling and they asked if I would like to substitute that unit and do a different one this semester. So … I put in an application and it was approved yesterday. I start studying again in two weeks time. I wonder if I will regret this decision!
This unit will be different as it is a creative writing unit (Authorship and Publication) and hopefully there will be a different tutor!
The vegetable garden needs watering at least once a day at present. It is quite warm and there is no sign of rain. It is lovely to spend some time out-of-doors.
The tomatoes are looking good, however I have to pick them soon as we have some ring-tail possums living beyond our back fence and they pop over to our place for a snack now and again :-).
As well as tomatoes, there are silver-beet plants, rocket, basil, mint, oregano, rosemary, parsley and rock-melon. I just need to harvest them before the possums eat them :-).
I recently wrote a post about making the transition from full-time work to a different lifestyle. You can see the original post here The Third Age
I have since decided to start a new blog about, and dedicated to, those of us who are past 50 and wondering how best to use our time for the next few decades.
My new blog is Encore Australia and you are very welcome to visit and leave any thoughts or comments on the site. I have also found some links that you may find of interest. I hope it will be a lively and interactive site that stimulates ideas and opportunities.
This is not a business venture and there is nothing for sale – it is for sharing ideas and inspiration.
How does one gracefully move from one stage of life to the next? Transitions can be hard work!
I never really bought into the capitalist idea of working extremely hard to gain a lot of money so that I could keep working hard to gain more money and possessions.
I worked primarily to:
- provide a home for me and my three sons
- pay the mortgage, the utility bills and food and clothing
- meet some good outcomes for the unemployed and disadvantaged members of society
- try to make a positive difference through the work I did each day.
Now I am no longer in the workplace I wonder how I can make a contribution. Sometimes I “go with the flow” but at other times I feel an urgency to do something useful or to make good use of my time and this stage of my life.
I am exploring being more creative; I am studying; I get some contract work from time to time; I joined a few not-for-profit community groups; but I still have time and energy on my hands. I even have a vegetable garden now but it doesn’t take much looking after.
My extended family aren’t in need of my support and both of my parents have passed away. I can enjoy learning new things such as calligraphy, taking videos and photos, sewing … and I will do those things.
I don’t think western society makes the most of the resources of our ageing baby-boomers. Many people my age are still working or busy with their families. Some are happy to follow their hobbies or to travel the world.
We gain useful skills and knowledge in life and work and then we fade into the sunset without finding adequate use of our experience. It seems such a waste of resources. I only wish I could come up with an idea to capture these resources (mine and those of many other semi-retired people) and use them to the good of our society.
Any ideas are welcome on where to from here?
Actually they are on my filing cabinet really
1. One day as a TIGER is worth thousands as a SHEEP
2. Chill out!
3. God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change
Courage to CHANGE the things I can
And WISDOM to know the difference
4. DANCE as though no-one is watching you
LOVE as though you have never been hurt
SING as though no-one can hear you
LIVE as though heaven is on earth
5. Go confidentially in the direction of your dreams
Live the life you have imagined (Thoreau)
Sometimes, perhaps when I am not at my best, I see things as black or white; good or bad; wrong or right etc.
It is good for me to remember that there may really be some shades of grey and that is OK. What is right for me may not be the same for you. Each person and each situation is unique.
It is just a matter of stopping our thinking for a moment and being objective about the possibilities. Being objective encourages me to be more tolerant and more philosophical about life in general.
Do you think there is a place for black and white thinking? Are there some situations where it is universally clear what is right and what is wrong?
Just before Christmas we bought some new pots for our back garden. We put flowering dahlias in them at the time. They looked great while the flowers were in full bloom but not so good afterwards.
We now have six palm trees that can grow up to 10 metres tall. Hopefully they will do well and offer a nice green foliage against the back fence.
In 2003 I went to Lake Ballard near Menzies, north of Kalgoorlie in remote Western Australia. A rather unique exhibition was on display on the salt lake known as Lake Ballard. The sculptures by Antony Gormley, were placed on site in 2003 just before I visited and stay as a tourist attraction in the region. See the Wiki link below
Juxtaposition is not part of my everyday vocabulary, however I think this photo meets the criteria :-).
I did a Google search recently to see what I could find about creativity and how to get more of it into my life.
I found this great website – 21 Days to Awaken your Creativity
I subscribed to the site and joined up for the free 21 day course. Each day I receive an email with an activity – not too demanding – and I am really enjoying it (I am only up to day 5).
It is encouraging me to look at everyday things in a different way. One task was to look at my wardrobe and think about what I regularly wear and consider if there is some way to do it a bit differently. I wore a skirt today whereas I just about always wear my jeans :-).
Today I was filling in time while waiting for an appointment and picked up a magazine. The options weren’t that great and I realised the one I selected was about boating. I have no interest whatsoever in boating, but I decided to read it cover to cover while I was waiting. I tried to see it in a new light. Would you believe it had some really good recipes in it as well (to cook the fish you caught on the boat :-))?
I purchased a nice looking little box to collect interesting bits and pieces that I may be inspired to do something with later. I also bought a basic sewing machine this week. I haven’t used one for a long time but I have ambitions to make table runners and cushion covers – I will see where it leads me.
Anyway, I thought I would share about the website as you may find it interesting as well. I find creativity to be a bit scary really, but exploring it in small doses feels really good.
cheers for now
I think most people today have at least heard of Dale Carnegie. I found a copy of Dale Carnegie’s Golden Book in my office. For more detailed info on The Dale Carnegie Training Institute CLICK HERE.
The Golden Book is really a compact (gold in colour) brochure with some of his key writings included. Probably his best known book is How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Here are some of the tips included in his book:
1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain
2. Give honest, sincere appreciation
3. Arouse in the other person an eager want
4. Become genuinely interested in other people
6. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language
7. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
8. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests
9. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
Dale Carnegie was born in 1888 and lived until 1955.
Do you think his advice is still relevant today? Are there other suggestions that could be added to the list, in your opinion?
Alternatively, which one, out of the nine points, do you most relate to?
As part of my challenge to be more creative, I decided I would cook something that I have never cooked before. I found a recipe for chicken cooked with spices from a cookbook called Indian Cooking for Australia by Gladys Roach.
Here is the recipe for Masala Murghi. We enjoyed eating it and now that I have a better selection of spices I will experiment with another recipe next week :-).
I figure the world is divided into two. One half believes that everything bad that happens is someone else’s fault. The other half believes they are personally responsible for whatever goes wrong!
I tend to fall into the second group. Looking at the handout from The Centre for Clinical Interventions it says:
‘Personalisation … involves blaming yourself for everything that goes wrong or could go wrong, even when you may only be partly responsible or not responsible at all. You might be taking 100% responsibility for the occurrence of external events.’
I can make a joke of it sometimes and take responsibility for the weather or for natural disasters – I know it is out of my hands in reality
Is it your tendency to accept the blame or to blame others for life’s challenges?
Do you ever jump to conclusions? I know I do. I get into a bad habit of assuming the worst.
I found a handout today while sorting my files. It is from The Centre for Clinical Interventions.
It is a good reminder not to get into bad thinking habits such as jumping to conclusions. The leaflet says:
‘We jump to conclusions when we assume that we know what someone else is thinking (mind reading) and when we make predictions about what is going to happen in the future.’
I often stumble of over this one – especially if I am feeling a bit low. Truth is that we never know what someone else is thinking! So why not assume they are thinking something good?
I am trying to tap into my creativity and I am exploring writing about feelings. Here is one about anxiety
I am short of breath
Something bad is going to happen
There are so many things to remember
I am overwhelmed
What have I forgotten to do?
I should have this sorted by now
I need something to relieve the pressure in my head
Something to eat … a pill …
Perhaps I can scrub the floor instead
Use up some of that nervous energy
Yes, that is a better idea
I will think about the things I do each day – think about how I could be more creative as in: the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination: the need for creativity in modern industry; creativity in the performing arts.
My challenge is to learn how to be more creative in all I do
Do you have any suggestions or ideas about expressing creativity? I would love to hear them.
… that goes for semi-retirement too!
WARNING: I KNOW I THINK TOO MUCH – that is just how I am made!
I left my full-time job in 2010 to move to the country. I have no regrets – best thing we ever did. Interestingly it has been a lot more challenging that I thought it would be.
It is only recently that I came to see some of the underlying challenges. Here are some fears I discovered lurking in the back of my mind:
- fear of economic insecurity
- fear of losing my skills and abilities from the workplace
- becoming irrelevant
- fear of being seen as old and redundant
- frustration at not being able to contribute in familiar ways
- fear of becoming boring
I now have time on my hands and choices of how to spend it. That seemed like a real luxury when I was working full-time. Now I am faced with decisions of ‘I should … ‘ or I shouldn’t …’. I also feel some guilt that I am so lucky to be in the place I am in, so I should be enjoying it more.
My intention was to get some part-time work and then to enjoy the benefits of semi-retirement. I have been so focused on getting some work that the rest has been put to one side.
I made a big decision this week. I am going to shift my focus and give priority to doing things I enjoy doing.
I will assess whatever comes along and pursue opportunities that feed me as a person. I can put aside being an employee or being a self-employed consultant. I want to explore my dreams. I have given myself permission TO HAVE dreams! When my focus was on earning some income everything this was put on hold.
I still hope to earn some $’s along the way – I have just shifted my priorities. I don’t know if my words here are actually conveying what I am trying to say – but I feel so much happier in myself and have more energy and enthusiasm for life. YAY!
My contribution to this week’s Photo Challenge is from a trip to the UK and Ireland in 2008. We stayed two nights at Thornbury Castle near Bristol UK. That was one of the highlights of our journey :-).
The advice was keep involved and don’t stop doing things. At the time is was the exact opposite of what I felt like doing. I wanted to withdraw into a quiet space and tell the world to go away. I followed the doctor’s advice, probably more so with my career. I don’t think I ever missed a day’s work due to depression. No-one at work was aware that I had any concerns. I can put on a good face that all is well!
I am grateful that I was able to keep working full-time over 17 years with the state government. It has allowed me to take an early retirement. Interestingly though, the advice I was given years ago seems to be a little redundant now. I only realised recently that I have developed an excessive habit of keeping busy to ward off any signs of depression.
Given that my lifestyle now doesn’t have the pressures and demands of the past, it seems I can let down my barriers a little and not be on the defensive and fearful that depression may sneak up on me. I have always been very aware how important it is to get the right balance in my life. Too much stress can definitely set one up for an episode of depression however not enough challenge in life is just as concerning.
Life is an ongoing learning process, isn’t it?
Today I was watering my garden when I noticed a new leaf on one of my Canna lilies. I always love to see new life unfolding in nature.
There is a bit of a story about my Canna lilies. When I was a child we had them growing along the front fence of our home. Now I was a child that hated school and was fairly creative at finding ways to avoid it. One strategy was that I would say goodbye to Mum and head of in the direction of my school but then I would creep back home using the Canna lilies as camouflage .
I would slip back quietly into the house and back into bed. My Mum would discover me there some time later and would not be happy! “What are you doing there? I thought you had gone to school!” I usually came up with “I am not feeling very well.” Because my Mum was a nurse, and a kind person, she let me get away with it.
So isn’t it amazing how the memory works. I see Canna lilies and in my mind I can see myself avoiding another day at school :-). I bought my lilies recently because of my childhood memories.
For as long as I can remember I have tried to fix myself and make myself a better person. Even in my first ten years I collected sayings and quotes about life and how to live. I was a bit of a rebel in my teens and tended to listen to the wisdom of the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin
In my 20s I was overwhelmed with life and sought wisdom from other sources. The one that helped me most was Helen Steiner Rice. It is a timely reminder as my favourite was “A Prayer for the New Year”.
New Year Prayer
God grant us this year a wider view,
So we see others’ faults through the eyes of You.
Teach us to judge not with hasty tongue,
Neither the adult … nor the young.
Give us patience and grace to endure
And a stronger faith so we feel secure.
Instead of remembering, help us forget
The irritations that caused us to fret.
Freely forgiving for some offense
And finding each day a rich recompense.
In offering a friendly, helping hand
And trying in all ways to understand;
That all of us whoever we are …
Are trying to reach an unreachable star.
For the great and small … the good and bad,
The young and old … the sad and glad
Are asking today; Is life worth living?
The answer is only in, loving and giving.
For only Love can make man kind
And Kindness of Heart brings Peace of Mind.
By giving love, we can start this year
To lift the clouds of hate and fear.
~Author- Helen Steiner Rice~
The lines that really spoke to me were … “Are asking today; Is life worth living?
The answer is only in, loving and giving."
I was brought up in the Catholic faith but had left that behind in my teens. As an adult I returned to Christianity and spent many happy years there. The faith in God and the fellowship with others was a great support and strength in my life during that time.
In more recent years I have studied philosophy and eastern belief systems. I guess I am still in that phase of my life now. I realise now that I don’t need fixing as much as I thought I did. I also realise that even with the many hours trying to fix myself, I am still much the same person as I was many years ago.
I would hope that others realise they are OK as they are! Sure, we sometimes need to tweak aspects of our personalities to make it easier to live in society.
Fundamentally though, YOU ARE OK AS YOU ARE!
Today my blog looks in danger of having zero visitors. Is everyone out doing Christmas shopping?
My take on this week’s photo challenge is that ONE is better than NONE! All visitors welcome
P.S. Here is an alternative take on the theme … my grandson, Isaac, around the time of his first birthday
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This is probably a bit ‘out there’ but I thought it might be interesting to see what other people around the world (i.e. other bloggers) get in their weekly grocery order. I thought it could have a multicultural flavour to it and we could get a comparative idea about the cost of living in different places.
This list is recent and includes some special items for Christmas puddings and caters for some anticipated guests as well. I also get my groceries delivered and get the printed list above. I do confess to our weekly indulgence of chocolate and peanuts but I don’t smoke or drink :-).
What do you think? How does my diet compare to yours? Want to share your list? I feel quite vulnerable in a silly way, by sharing my shopping list. I would feel much more comfortable talking about the meaning of life …
In 1993 I got a job with the State Government, based in Geraldton. We were living in Newman in the Pilbara at the time. I went on ahead of the family as I had to start work. My former husband and my sons came some time after me.
We had two dogs – Hannah and Angus. Hannah was part Blue Heeler and Angus was part Boxer. The trickiest part of the move was getting the dogs to their new home. The dogs had to fly to Perth and then connect to a regional flight to Geraldton. It was going to be a nightmare, I just knew it.
I should say that I never set out to have dogs but I did come to love them. I am not a ‘good’ dog owner. They walk all over me!
When they finally arrived in Geraldton they had been caged in the cargo hold for many hours. They were not happy! The house we were moving into needed to be secured to make sure the dogs were contained in our yard. A Newman friend had moved to Geraldton prior to us moving and agreed to have the dogs overnight as she had a secure property with good fencing.
The dogs were SO hyper when we got to her place they ran round and around the back yard at one hundred miles an hour. What I didn’t know was that there were goats in the property next door. Amazingly, to my horror, my dogs were able to bound over high fences like Superman! Next they were chasing the goats around and around that property.
I was totally at a loss as what to do. I think if I had a lethal weapon at the point I would have used it (on the dogs, that is!)
So did I sink or swim? I know I wanted to dig a big hole and hide myself inside it. I felt really ashamed of my dogs’ behaviour but even more ashamed of my lack of ability to control them. No goats were hurt in this story, thankfully.
The next day we were able to secure our property and keep the dogs inside the yard. Having a dog is a big responsibility and I really don’t think I am up to it – even though I am sometimes tempted. I can enjoy my neighbours’ dog, Max, next door :-).
Hannah and Angus lived a pretty good life up until they both went on to doggie heaven. I was very sad when I lost them. We all were.
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My mother-in-law taught me how to make Christmas Pudding in the way she prepared and cooked it every year for her husband and two sons. The responsibility was passed to me when she passed away in 2010. Each year I say I am not going to make it but I usually give in to howls of protests.
The tradition of putting the coins in the puddings comes from my childhood. I have 15 x three-penny coins dating from 1921 to 1955. I also have seven six-penny coins dating from 1910 to 1963. I always clean them in boiling water and bicarb soda before mixing them in the pudding! I usually ask the coins be swapped for some chocolate money so as I can continue the tradition the next Christmas.
Next the mixture goes in two pudding bowls and sealed with kitchen paper and foil before inserting into two pots of boiling water.
Then they steam for four hours. I need to keep topping up the water so it does all disappear
My backyard is a busy place this week! I was quietly reading my novel when I heard a knocking at my back door. Now, there is no entrance to my backyard so I was taken by surprise. I looked up to see this big lizard head looking in at me! They are amazing creatures – they seem so ancient :-)
Today I was reading through some notes from a course I did in 2006 called ‘Prosper from your Passion’. It aimed to help us participants find what we were passionate about and enable us to develop strategies to make our passions become our realities. The tutor was from http://www.careerwisdom.com.au and she provided handouts of some well-known inspirational messages including Quotes from Marianne Williamson.
The one below is my favourite …
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a
child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is
nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel
insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were
born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just
in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are
liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates
Today I went to the my first creative writing meeting. There were about a dozen of us there – all ladies of a certain age! The group is coordinated by the University of the Third Age (U3A).
After a brief introduction and a few handouts, the timer was set to 45 minutes and we started to write. There were three topics to choose from as follows:
1. Write about yourself
2. Start with … I opened my eyes and …
3. Must include the following: purple, enormous and furniture.
I chose the third option and here is what I wrote …
As I drove home along Bussell Highway, I caught a glimpse of something purple in the sky. It was enormous but I had to focus on the road as the traffic was busy as schools were closing for the day.
I decided to get off the Highway and so pulled into Holgate Road and drove towards the ocean where the visibility was much better and there was very little traffic.
I was a little afraid, but more excited than anything. The enormous, purple object was getting much closer to ground level. It was bigger than a Jumbo Jet. I started to discern its shape and I couldn’t believe my eyes. It looked like a chest of drawers – an enormous, purple, chest of drawers. I pinched myself as I thought I must be dreaming, but no, I WAS awake.
A crowd started to gather. What was it really? Nothing made sense. It came within metres of the shoreline – we were all breathless with anticipation. But then – it was gone in an instant and we were left stunned and confused.
The next day it was in the papers – it was the State Government’s latest shark mitigation strategy …
NB.This may give some context if needed Shark mitigation strategy finds resistance
I think I am going to enjoy this writing group. There is no critiquing of each others work – it is about having fun writing