My Favourite Things

I thought long and hard to find what is special to me. There were lots of possibilities before my eyes as I scanned my room seeking that something special – something that stood out above the rest. When I spotted Mum’s philosophy books my search was over. She sometimes read them to us at bedtime. As children we knew they were special because of the way she handled them – as though they held something close to her heart. She didn’t say so; we could just tell.

Seeing Mum of an evening was a treat in itself. She worked, mostly doing afternoon shift, as a Nurse at the local hospital. She trained during WW II however she met my Dad, a dashing young man in uniform, and they married five months later. That’s how it was in War time – or so I am told. Mum couldn’t complete her training after the wedding as married women couldn’t stay in training as nurses. She must have been very much in love to make that sacrifice. She loved her work, that was easy to see, so she worked as a Nurse’s Aid until she retired in her sixties.

We lived in our small wooden house in Channel Street – Mum, Dad and five kids – 3 girls in one bedroom (bunks and a single bed) and 2 boys in the sleep out. We had a wooden stove in the kitchen and a wooden fire-place  in lounge. Even so, I remember it being really cold.  When I got out of bed in the morning I shuddered as my feet touched the icy cold lino floor. There were no mats in the house.We would put our school shoes in the oven to warm them up before going to school.  It was fairly stark, but honest and clean (Mum was a bit obsessed with CLEAN!). We had a chip heater in the bathroom that made frightening noises – bath time was as short as possible!

Being the youngest of 5 children, I remember getting caught up in whatever was happening at the moment. My brothers believed their main role was to instil fear into me. They did this by going outside my window at night and pretending they were burglars or wild animals. I was a very timid  and fearful little girl.

Mum worked full-time from when I was 18 months old and Dad worked long hours – cutting wood in the forest. There were lots of times we were on our own. Saturday nights were special though – it was when we all shared in the luxury of  a big blog of chocolate.

Mum and Dad have both passed away now. It wasn’t until some time afterwards; it is a bit of blur now, but I came across the philosophy books. My sisters and I remember Mum reading snippets to us. We were not allowed to hold the book. It was special and Mum kept them in her bedroom. It was magic when she got them out.

Mum and Dad are dead and gone – I now have the books in my book-case and I have also developed a love of thought-provoking reading about the human condition.

What puzzled us girls is why Mum would read one particular story to us called “Tiss Me Goodnight” about a naughty child being punished by not getting a kiss goodnight. It is a really sad little story as the mother doesn’t relent and the child dies during the night”. Not exactly bedtime reading for us young girls. It instilled in me the importance of not denying my love and affection to others as one never knows what the next hours or days may have in store.

But, my Mum was mysterious to me. I wish I had got to know her better but perhaps there is always a side of our parents that we never know will know about.

Lorraine

Ten reasons I will keep blogging

Owl

I came close to giving up on my blog.  All sorts of reasons (excuses) but I will continue because:

1. It feels like there is something missing in my day when I don’t spend at least a few minutes writing and reading

2. I miss the inspiration from the feedback to my blog or reading other people’s stories

3. If I stopped blogging, what would happen to all those stories I have written since I first started

4. It can’t do any harm and it can be fun :-)

5. I get to write at least around 300 words a day and it is good to keep in practice

6. I love looking for good photos to match up  with my article of the day – better still if it is one of my own

7. I can say “I am a blogger” when asked what I do with my spare time

8. I love the international nature of blogging – I learn so much from reading blogs from people overseas.

9. Sometimes I love to share an important insight or experience in my life

10. It is too easy to give up doing things – I must persevere

Do you ever wonder why you blog or read blogs. I would welcome ideas for remaining motivated in my writing –  if you would like to share your ideas.

thanks for reading today

Lorraine :-)

 

Dream catcher

I dream a lot! I don’t always remember them though. When I am finding life a bit difficult I often dream that I am caught in a flood and that it is about to overwhelm me.

When stressed, I often clam up and bury the emotions inside. In order to be “less stressed” I am learning to name my emotions with a technique from “The Confidence Gap” by Dr Russ Harris.”  Amazingly, last night I dreamed that I was about to be faced with yet another flood.

This time I responded differently. I was able to channel the water into a part of my yard that was badly in need of water. I was very calm and collected and in control! It felt great.

My interpretation of this dream is that I CAN experience turbulent and overwhelming situations – I just need to acknowledge them and find a use (?) for them or channel those energies to where they are most needed in my life.

thanks

Lorraine

A crisis in confidence

English Grammar In Use

English Grammar In Use (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am stuck! I committed myself to doing two university level units of study in the current semester. I downloaded all the course outlines, readings, and assignments! I set up Outlook appointments for study times and my part-time job. I actively engaged in the online community, but then something happened…

I sat in front of my computer and froze. Logically I had it all worked out – after all, it was just 12-13 weeks of study – surely I can commit myself to that! It was interesting stuff about communication, publishing, editing and design. In my mind I was back to being 15-16 years old. I didn’t complete my last year at High School for fear of failing. It was an awful place to be, but all these years later, the same fears and emotions returned.

As a result of my “freeze” I decided to defer my studies until 2013 – fortunately it was approved.

My biggest stumbling block was GRAMMAR! It may well have been a prehistoric language. I know the basic stuff about nouns, verbs, adjectives etc. and I mostly understand passive voice. There is so much more to it and I was torn with annoyance about not knowing something and the question “do I really need to know this stuff?”

Prior to deferring my studies I ordered a book from Amazon  called English Grammar in Use –  a self-study reference and practice book for intermediate learners of English and it is written by Raymond Murphy. It comes with a CD and it provides answers to all the exercises in the book. I was a little put off with INTERMEDIATE as I have used English as a first language all my life! When do I graduate to the next level!!!

So, there it is – do we really need to know grammar THAT well? What do you think? Are there parts of grammar that still confuse you?

There was another lesson for me in this experience and it took another book to regain some confidence. It is called The Confidence Gap – from fear to freedom, written by Dr Russ Harris. His approach in new in psychology (to the best of my knowledge) but has been known by many cultures for centuries – mindfulness and allowing our thoughts to come and go without getting “fused” (Harris’s word) with our thoughts, negative or positive. I would recommend the book to anyone struggling with self-confidence.

As for the GRAMMAR book – I haven’t decided if I really want to improve my skills in this area. It would be great to gain some skills and overcome past fears in this area. I will think about it (in a diffused sort of way) :-)

 

Cheers

Lorraine

 

 

Blog writing

 

I haven’t written much lately so I decided to do something different and include a Poll. I hope you will take part – just for fun :-)

Lorraine

Rainee:

My son completed the Appalachian Trail a few days ago. Guess who is very proud of him :-) Lorraine

Originally posted on neanderjoel:

The last day I woke up about 7am with a trace of a hangover and only 5 miles to climb up a little hill called Katahdin. Stinger had left an hour ago, Whitewater left at about 7 and the rest of us, motown, janza, red man, philly ben and myself left at about 8am. The climb wasn’t too bad really, it was fun. I got to the top at 11am.
I had to hold back tears when I saw the sign. After 4 and a half months of hiking, my journey finally came to an end. It was a very satisfying feeling. We all shook hands and congratulated each other and took photos, then a few hours later we shared a hotel room and drank some more beers to celebrate.

image

At the bottom of the mountain. Not sure what’s going on here.

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On the way up. That’s Janza, he’s really…

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Weekly photo challenge: Wrong

If you have ever read my blog before, you will know I love telling stories about my time in remote places in Australia. A few weeks ago we went to Northern Queensland which is a very long way from where we live. I love to take photos of the trees and natural landscapes so I asked my husband (:-)) to reduce the speed so that I could take a shot from the car window without getting out of the car. Lazy, I know, but we WERE on holidays!

Landscape on the road to Charters Towers, Queensland.

This is the photo I shot. I am fascinated by trees and the different species found in parts of Australia. It wasn’t until we got home and I uploaded the photos that I noticed something was wrong! You can’t miss it!

Cheers

Lorraine

Rainee:

Congratulations Katherine! You are the 10 000th visitor to my blog. I hope that other readers will enjoy your post today :-)
Lorraine
PS thank you to all readers of my blog

Originally posted on Katherine Givens:

Normally I take a rejection with humility and understanding. If a short story was rejected and the editors offered some objective criticism, I will humbly accept their advice. If a poem was rejected because it does not fit the aesthetic of a magazine, I can understand. All writers are rejected at some point. Most suffer from streams of rejections. It is a part of the business. A part that I willingly accept.

With that out in the open, I would like to mention that I received a rejection that made me howl with laughter.  Never have I laughed at a rejection letter. A rejection is not meant to do something so ludicrous. You are suppose to experience a sting to your pride and move on.

Look at it this way. Would you laugh if the person whom you just asked out on a date said no? Would you laugh if…

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10 000 views – wow!

Joan of Arc at the Coronation of Charles VII. ...

Joan of Arc at the Coronation of Charles VII.        (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are the next person to view my blog you will be my 10 000th visitor! Congratulations. If you tell me the name of your blog, I will reblog it on my site!

Thanks readers for your support :-)

Lorraine

PS Joan of Arc really has nothing to do with this post – I just liked the picture and it is public domain :-)

Flowers

PLEASE NOTE: allaboutwordswa has a new WordPress theme :-) but it is the same blog!

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On Saturday I went to the Vasse Markets with my neighbour and friend. It was a pleasant outing and I treated myself to a big bunch of native flowers. I took some photos so I could share them with you :-)

I also found a lovely little book for $1 called Flowers from Shakespeare’s Garden – a Posy from the Plays, pictured by Walter Crane. It has some beautiful illustrations in it. I believe an original copy of it costs around A$600. Mine is not an original but I will treasure it. My friend predicted there would be a blog about it, so I couldn’t resist including it.

Cheers for now

Lorraine