Wednesday, December 23, 2009

No Blog - No excuse

A very quick post to say that we have no upload usage allowance left this month, a hiccup with the computer ate up most of our 12GB, so we are running on empty.

Next update will be in the New Year.

Wishing all friends and family a wonderful Christmas and a Happy Safe 2010.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It finally rained!

After weeks of 35 degrees celcius plus temperatures and not a drop of rain, our weather cooled a little today, only 29 degrees predicted and about 15 minutes ago it began raining. We had 10.5mm of wonderful rain, refreshing the air and plants. It is still cloudy, so we are hoping for a little more, but are completely grateful for the little bit that we have had.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sarah's presentation night and graduation

Sarah performing with concert band at Presentation night.
Sarah with her prizes for the Mavis Reath literature competition.

Sarah at Grade Six (Junior school) graduation. The Middle school principal welcoming her to Grade seven for next year.

A wonderful moment to share with Sarah, Well done sweetheart.

Matthew's Middle School Graduation

Matthew and Madeline gave their final speeches as Middle School Captains at the Graduation ceremony.

Matthew receiving his graduation certificate from the principal Ross Switzer.

The two school captains and the Middle school Principal Bronwyn Gagliardi cutting the graduation cake.

I was a very proud Mum, sharing this day with my son.

Vesta has been offline

We have been without a phone/internet line for nearly a week and finally today it was repaired. It has been driving me crazy and made me realise how dependent on technology I have become.

So for a couple of updates.

School is finished for the year, Matthew and Sarah are on summer holidays until end of January.

Ivan is overseas in York, PA and New York (wish I was with him), Elizabeth is working hard at her job and I am trying to get into the Christmas spirit with temperatures over 37 degrees Celsius for the past 3 days. A bit tough, although the children and I did make 14 dozen Christmas mince pies and 11 dozen curry mince pies on Monday. So now we are hot and fat!

The house is decorated and the shopping almost finished. I have ordered the Turkey and have begun planning the menu, so with just 2 weeks left, we are finally beginning to think Christmas will be here soon.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Guess what?

The Creators - Book Two has been started.

Tonight I have taken my new laptop to bed with me (no hubby he is away) and started writing Book Two.

My plan is to focus on writing a further 50 000 words just like the first book, no editing or trying to tell the story, just focussing on getting that 50 000 words. That way I am hoping that by the end of the 50 000 I will have another great story.

Word count 1480.

Grading system explained

In reply to Darlene's lovely comment regarding my grades. (Thanks for the support Darlene and Ian.)

Here is an explanation:
A pass is a 4 (50-65%)
Credit is a 5 (65-74%
Distinction is a 6 (75-84%)
and a High Distinction is a 7 (85%+)

I am working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree hopefully majoring in English and Writing. Initially I thought I might major in English and Religion and this is still a possibility. If I go this path my writing will just be incorporated into my English degree.

Who knows where this will lead, maybe to an honours degree, but that is way down the track still.

At the moment, my plan is to do just 5 courses per year instead of the 'usual' 8 courses. Three in first semester and 2 in second; this way I can enjoy the journey and the process and still have time for the family.

Breathing a Sigh of Satisfaction

This morning I woke up early and switched on my computer. Uni results were published today. I already knew my poetry result was a '6' Distinction, but needed to get my English results. Prior to my exam I had been sitting all semester on a '7' but was very nervous after my exam. I knew that I would pass the course (enough marks already) but how much it would bring my marks down was the issue. . .


26 years after writing my last exam I survived another one. I don't know my final results for my exam, but my final English grade is a . . . HIGH DISTINCTION '7'.

Happy dance time.

I have a GPA of 6.5 for second semester and am so happy. Can't wait now to tackle 2010 first semester. I am going to take 'Fundamentals of writing; Gothic literature and possibly Australian Literature (depending on the lecturer). Roll on March 1st, 2010.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2 147 483 647 words

That is 2 billion 147 million 483 thousand 647 official words were written by NaNoWriMo writers in 2009.

And I contributed my 50 000+ words.

The First Day of Christmas

Advent Calenders are always a fun way to start off the Christmas season. It is the only time of the year (except Easter) that the children are allowed to start the day with chocolate for breakfast.

The Creators

I have decided to discontinue posting the story on my blog (and have deleted all previously published chapters) on the advice of my worldly-wise husband. He has suggested that I keep the rest of the story private as if it in in the public domain of the web it can no longer be subject to copyright. (Hadn't thought about that). My family is convinced that I should attempt to get this published, so maybe with some editing etc, I will give it a go.

So for all the fans that have been following The Creators (I know there are thousands of you out there - LOL) let me know in the comments section of this post and I can send you the rest of the story via private email.

Many thanks for your support (family and friends). It has been a great journey.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My official result!

50 177


I am finished with one day to spare. 100 pages, 48 chapters and 50 177 words.

My novel has been submitted to NaNoWriMo and it has been validated and I have been awarded a winner's certificate. On December 2nd, I can log onto NaNoWriMo and download a certificate to print a free proof copy of my manuscript as well, but more importantly than any of these things, my reward is that I have a novella. A story all of my own making, rich with wonderful characters that I have found along the way.

I am doing a happy dance inside as I sit and write. I will continue to post chapters online, hope you enjoy everyone.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way, to my brother and Michelle for reading along chapter by chapter. To my husband for his patience when I sat writing, rather than talking to him. Thank you to my children for their understanding and to Sarah for being the creative child who inspired my heroine.

I hope one day I inspire you all to follow your own dreams.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Poetry Grade

I received an email from a friend this morning to say we could collect our poetry portfolios. I then checked my grades online and am so thrilled to let you all know that I received a Distinction '6' for the course.
My actual portfolio only received 66% which is a little disapointing, so I will be glad to collect it and hopefully learn from the comments. This however, does not diminish my delight in my overall grade, which is the only one that actually counts.

Now I only have to wait for my English results which should be out on Wednesday 2nd.

On the writing front I had an amazing day yesterday with 5722 words. Total so far is 38 376 words, really on the countdown now with just 11 624 words to write. The end is in sight.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

36 802 words

Only 13 198 words still to write (approx 2640 words a day or if I discount Saturday which I am spending with my friend Michelle, then 3 300 words a day).

I have had a big morning writing 4148 words.

My novella is up to 35 Chapters, mostly around 1000 words each with a few longer and a few shorter ones.

The climax is fast approaching and I am trying to hold it back. Hope you are all still enjoying the chapters day by day. Will post an extra one today as a reward both for myself and my valued readers.

Our Son Matthew

Matthew in the new mascot outfit that was purchased with funds raised by the Year Nine students, as a gift to the Middle School.

Last night it was Matthew's presentation night, he was awarded a prize for his service as Middle School Captain and also as the oldest student had the priveledge of passing on the candle of knowledge to the youngest Grade Seven student.

It was a wonderful evening with the highlight being Matthew and Madeline announcing next year's Captains.

Well Done Matthew.

Monday, November 23, 2009

31 645

Four days to go and 4589 words per day needed. Although I have until Monday 30th to finish my friend Michelle is coming up to visit on Saturday, so I am working on finishing my novel by Friday. I don't really anticipate getting any writing done over the weekend as I am sure I will be too busy enjoying time with my special friend.

Today despite having my haircut and going out to movies with Elizabeth I have managed to write 2301 words bringing my total up to nearly 32000 words.

The story is going really well and reaching the pre-climax parts. I hope you are all still enjoying the chapters. See the next post for Chapter Twelve.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Today I became a writer.

My total is up to 29 344, I wrote over 7000 words today and it is wonderful. I cannot believe that I have this amazing story in my head. It is filled with people who live, lives that exist and prophecies to be fulfilled. Twenty-eight chapters and almost 60 pages. It is hard to tear myself away from the computer.

Thank you to my wonderful family who today have allowed me to write, who gave me inspiration for character's names and who are so supportive.

26903 words

I did it, I have written 4 chapters today and the best part of all, is that I have written the prophecy. I didn't know my story had a prophecy, but it does and in one inspirational moment it appeared. The words just flowed out onto the paper.

Now I am over halfway to the end. Only 23 097 words to go and 8 days to write it in - that is 2888 words per day. It is going to be hard work but I think I can do it.

NaNoWriMo HELP!!!

Only nine days to go and I still have lots and lots and lots of words to write. I have to write at least 2800 words per day, every single day until November 30th.

I took a week off (big mistake) to study for exams, my brother's visit and children's school activities so the pressure is back on.

This morning I have written about 2300 words, but still need another 2800 words a day. Luckily it is Sunday, so might get another session in later.

For all those who have been following my story, please let me know what you think so far. Feedback good, bad or indifferent is inspiring, because it means someone out there is reading. Chapter Eleven will be up later today - am off for a swim with my family now. Back to the writing later.

Friday, November 20, 2009

What a girl!

My amazing daughter Sarah received an envelope at school today regarding School presentation night. When I picked her up we opened it and these are the opening sentences:

Dear Sarah,

I have great pleasure in informing you that you are to receive the following awards on Presentation Night:

Mavis Reath Awards for Literature - Years 4, 5 & 6 Poetry
Mavis Reath Awards for Literature - Years 4, 5 & 6 Short Story.

My talented girl has won not only the poetry award, but also the short story award, which had to be 400 words or less (Sarah's was exactly 400 words). She entered her poem 'Circus' and her short story 'The Picture'. These competitions are judged not by the class teachers, but by a recognised poet and writer. So this achievement in winning both categories is even more impressive.

Sarah I am so proud of you. Your creative talent is amazing. Well done! See below for the poem and story.

by Sarah Adair 6S

Red and white stripes of the Big Top
Jumping, catching, flying, landing
Acrobats on wires, large trampoline
Flexible people want to be seen.

Lion tamers, elephant riders
Little French poodles riding bikes
Candyfloss, popcorn, peanuts and more
Everything you can buy from the stall.

The Ringmaster calls in the clowns
Funny faces, big floppy shoes
Smiles painted on chalky lips
I love the circus and all its tricks.

Droopy eyes in the car
Dreaming of being a circus star.

The Painting.
By Sarah Adair 6S

A light stroke of a paintbrush is all it takes to bring a painting to life. The dots and lines covered the canvas in rich, earthy reds and browns. The people that stood before the famous piece of art in the gallery didn’t understand the new painting.
“I don’t understand why the artist painted such a little kangaroo?”
“It doesn’t even seem to belong in the painting.”
The little kangaroo felt even smaller and sadder as he heard these comments.
“Five minutes to closing time,” the speaker crackled.
The little kangaroo watched the people leave the gallery and the lights slowly dim.

A sigh crept around the gallery as all the figures stretched and groaned.
“I hate posing all day for those art critic snobs” said Lisa Mona.
“That’s not a smile, well what would they know” said The Scream.
“Well at least they don’t call you small” said the tiny kangaroo.
“Hush Junior, don’t talk to strangers” said the sun, peeking from behind Uluru. “We are far from home in this cold, wet land. Don’t annoy the locals.”

“Locals, who are you calling locals?” screeched The Scream.
“I don’t know why they have let dotted riff-raff into the Louvre” whispered Lisa Mona.
Everyone leaned out of their frames to peer at the strange foreign painting that now hung in the gallery. Junior tried to hop behind the big mountain, but fell out of his frame.
“Ha, ha, ha,” laughed The Scream.

Poor Junior felt sadder than ever, he was so far away from Australia and all alone in this new place.
“Don’t listen to them,” said Vinnie Gogh, “I don’t.”
Junior decided explore to escape the comments that made him feel small. Hopping from room to room, he met many famous sculptures and paintings. Some were very friendly and some were just plain rude.
Junior realised that he had been hung with some very special paintings and started to feel a lot bigger and more important.
Junior wandered back to his painting.
“Oh look Spotty’s back,” snickered The Scream and Lisa Mona.
Vinnie Gogh said, “Leave him alone, he is far more important than you think. He represents his whole country. We are all from here.”
Suddenly, Junior felt a whole lot bigger and better. He hopped back into his painting as the sun lit the gallery.
“Thank you,” he whispered before the visitors came to stand before him once more.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It is all over

I have finished. Now it is just time to wait for my results. The exam was fairly easy and I was well prepared. I am hoping that I covered everything well enough and I now have that horrible post-exam analysis feeling in my stomach. My previous assessment in the subject has given me sufficient marks to pass the course, but to maintain my High Distinction I need 27/40 so am holding thumbs.

Results December 2nd or 3rd!

Time to now kick back and relax, enjoy the next few days with my brother and then 3 months holiday and Christmas.

Crunch Time

It is finally time to face the music or in my case the exam room. In just 3 hours time I will be sitting my very first exam in 25 years. I have prepared as much as I possibly can so now just hope that my hand holds out for the 2 hours of writing and then at 4.30pm it will all be over.

Thank you to all my family and friends for your best wishes and support, it means such a lot to me. I didn't realise just how nervous I would be when faced with an exam situation, so thank you.

December 2nd, results should be out - so will let you all know.

Monday, November 16, 2009

He is here!

My brother arrived last night for a week with his family in Australia. His beautiful wife and children were not able to come with him and it was with sadness that he arrived without them; and it hit me that he is not just my brother now, but a husband and father to another family.

I have been counting down the days until I could selfishly spend the time with my baby brother and last night as I sat with him, laughing and sharing him with my family - all of this happened.

Then he spoke to his beautiful daughter's Michelle and Laura-Ashley on the phone and his amazing wife Wendy and I realised how much they were all sacrificing, so we could share him for the week.

So this I dedicate to Wendy, who is the best woman my brother could ever have wished for in a wife. Also to his beautiful daughters, thank you for sharing my brother with me. I hope you cope okay without husband and Daddy and thank you from the bottom of my heart

Monday, November 9, 2009

Another chapter

Apologies to everyone for the shift from 3rd person to 1st person in chapter three. It felt better to write it in first person. So hopefully that is the way it will stay. Editing process will fix the problems after November 30th. Word total is climbing now over 17 000 words. I will be glad when I reach the halfway mark. Please excuse the wordy descriptions at times, but faced with the daunting task of 50 000 words, sometimes this seems the best option.

Thanks for the email comments, hope it is keeping you interested.

What do you get when you add a trampoline, fun and a heavy big brother?

Yes a broken big Toe!
Sarah and Matthew were playing on the trampoline on Saturday evening and he bounced awkwardly, landing on her big toe. She came limping into the house in tears. We applied lots of ice, elevated the toe, strapped it up, but today the doctor confirmed that it is fractured.

So for the next week, Sarah is on crutches and then no PE, trampolining for the next 4 weeks.
What a Pain!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Still writing!

The little bump in the road occurred. I didn't get to write on Friday (just 77 words) and nothing yesterday. Thank goodness my total was ahead of schedule as I think that I would have thought about giving up otherwise - (my old reaction to adversity).

This morning I have found a few quiet minutes well almost an hour and have got back into my story. Writing another 2000+ words, my total is now up to 14 271 (942 words ahead of schedule still). Fifteen chapters written and more importantly I am enjoying the process.

I like my story, I hope you are enjoying it as well.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Do you want to read the story chapter by chapter?

Hi everyone,

I am writing furiously every day, avearaging about 2388 words per day.

I am thinking of posting up the story chapter by chapter (undedited of course) to get your reactions, this is in response to a couple of requests. What do you think? I now have over 22 pages and twelve chapters - that is 11 944 words.

I will wait for everyone's response and then decide, if not I will post little bits and pieces as I go along to wet your appetite and then you will have to wait for the edited story.

Here is a synopsis so far:

Sarah McCandless is a young 16 year old teenager. She is ordinary, a normal girl.
A group of Selectors appear at her school and she is chosen by a Selector called Melissa, while other people have been chosen for guilds such as healing, special forces etc, she is chosen for the mysterious Creator's guild.

She leaves her family immediately and travels with a group of about 50 young people to a school in Los Angeles, where she finds out more about not only the school but also her strange gift - a talent that she shares with all the other students. A gift for writing.

Along the way she makes a new best friend Chloe, and a fantastic group of friends, Janine and James - twins and Richard and Lucas.

And then . . .

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Story is coming along well, word count is up to 7388 words, averaging 2462 words per day, I only need 1666 so am storing up a few extra every day in case I have a bad one.

The joy of this project is that I can be as verbose (meaning wordy) as I wish. I need the extra words. The story is really flowing and at the end of the month, I might have something special.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It is all about inspiring others and being inspired in return.

Why do writer's write and poet's 'poet'? I don't really know? I don't think it is only because we wish to entertain others, I think it is mostly because we have something inside us that needs to be said. The reward is when someone stands back and says: "That is fantastic" or "I loved that" or even "I hated that." With words we can inspire others, share joy, sadness, love, hate and just stories.

So I am going to share a story with you.

My Mom has a friend, they have been friends for over 40 years. Friends through good times and bad, happy times and sad and luckily now with the amazing technological age we live in; friends across the world - emailing, skyping, chatting on the phone and just staying in touch. This lovely lady is extremely talented, but like many women of her generation, she was given very little encouragement in her youth. She believed[s] that she isn't very good at things. We know different, but years of messages to the contrary take years to rewrite.

This lovely lady has been enjoying some of the poetry that I have been writing and also sharing the news of my year at university. The other day she sent Mom an email with a story idea for me. Mom told her to write it herself. Her reply: "I couldn't do that, I can't write."

Well isn't it amazing, but guess what yes she can. Below is a beautiful poem, that our dear friend has written. I am honoured and thrilled to share it with you. She has a really good sense of rythm with this poem and has used a very good 2nd and 4th line rhyming scheme. It flows, it expresses a beautiful sentiment and it is worth sharing.

So enjoy a poem, written by a talented friend, Margaret from South Africa.

A Rhyme Dedicated To My Best Friend

I have a friend from long ago
Who's heart is true and caring
She never focuses on herself
Her love is so endearing.

She loves to plan and seeks to find
Someone she can assist
She is selfless in every way
A heart you cant resist

I'm glad she is a friend of mine
We have known each other for years
If I could be as nice as her
I wouldn't cry so many tears

She's been with me through thick and thin
She's got me through hard times
I owe a lot to this dear friend
That's why I wrote this rhyme

Am I going crazy
I don't normally write a thing
It must be her good influence

Cause now I want to sing

Monday, November 2, 2009

Day Two and still on track.

The Creator's Guild (my novel) is still on track, today I have written another 2000 odd words, word count now up to 5207, my average is still up over the required number of words thank goodness.

The ideas and thoughts are flowing easily at this stage, so am hoping to capture as many of them while I can. This week I do not have too many appointments, so am trying to stay ahead of the game.

Next week is chaos, so will have to see how it goes.

Another installment will follow soon.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Creator's Guild

An extract from my Novel that I am writing in November. My target is 1666 words per day and today November 1st I have written 3166, so am ahead of schedule. It is written with young people in mind and is the story of a special young girl 'Sarah' who has a gift. A gift that she doesn't know she has. I hope you enjoy this little taste . . .

Sarah sat stunned as another Selector stood up and selected another group; she thought she heard she was from the Artist’s guild and then a couple more for the Developer’s guild. She didn’t even notice that she was the last person in the room. Her hair covered her face and she stared at her desk. A light tap on her shoulder made her jump and she looked up into the greenest eyes she had ever seen; green serious eyes that appeared to be able to read her thoughts. She looked away quickly and only then noticed that she was the only person still left in the room. Looking back she tried to speak and shut her mouth on her words as the Selector began: “Sarah, you are special. Sarah you are different and until now this has been your curse, now it will be your gift. We have left you alone to suffer, we have left you alone to grow and learn. Through your life and experiences you have learnt empathy, you have learnt fear and compassion, all these things are necessary for what you will become. We have been watching you for some years now and all of us agree; that you are the only one of your class that is worthy of selection into the Creator’s guild. In fact you are the only one who has been selected over the last four years.”

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I am crazy!

I have just finished my last lecture today and celebrated by signing up to write a 50 000 word novel in the month of November. This is my busiest month of the year. I have an English exam; more children's presentation nights to attend than I can even think of; my husband and mom's birthday; my brother coming out for a week's holiday and Christmas to prepare for and I have just signed up to NaNoWriMo a group of crazy people who for the month of November attempt to write a 50 000 word novel.

That is just 1666.66666 words per day. I am asking everyone to help encourage me. Keep me going and who knows what I will produce at the end of the month. The idea is to just write, no editing, just as many words per day as possible. What is the result. No prize, except a certificate of completion and the amazing success of having written a novel.

One of my uni friends suggested I give it a go and guess what I am going to do it. So call me crazy, inspired or whatever, but from November 1st, I am a novelist.

I will keep you all updated. I don't even have a clue what I am going to write about yet, but I have 2 days to think of something. So any ideas would be most appreciated.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Nearly finished

This is a really quick post just to share my good news.

I received my English essay on King Lear back yesterday. It was worth 30% of my mark and I got 97% for it. I am so excited and pleased that all my hard work and effort paid off.

The comment from my tutor was the following:

"This is a very well-written response. Your eloquence and engagement with the text both do you proud!
Your integraion of the critical reading into your argument is a good technique."

So far I have received 95%, 97% and 100% for attendance, so only have my exam to study for and I will have passed my first year English subject.

Friday, October 16, 2009

We have all the bases covered.

I have the most amazing and talented family. I am proud of each and everyone of them, just for themselves for the lovely children that they are. I am proud of their sense of honesty, decency, love of others and the pride that they take in themselves.

Today I am writing with a little more pride than usual. I ask you to check out my beautiful Sarah's blog 'Vesta Mini-Magic' she has written a wonderful poem called 'Circus' which she is going to enter into the school poetry/writing competition. Also the story called 'The Painting', both of these entries, she wrote yesterday. An amazing girl.

Then this morning I received a phone call from Matthew's mathematics's teacher. She said that she had Matthew in her class and he needed to tell me something. Of course I just panicked, what had gone wrong!
It wasn't that anything had gone wrong, but rather that he had received his results for his entry in the National Math competition that he sat last term. He competed against Grade 9 & 10 students (he is in grade 9) and received a DISTINCTION, placing him in the top 16% of the country's math students for his age group. I tell you I was completely blown away. Math has never, ever been my strong suit, and here is my son completely acing the exam.

So with my amazing Professor (Science) husband; Elizabeth our Ancient History expert; Me the writer and poet, Sarah - the musician, artist and writer and now Matthew both a school leader, amazing comedian and Math expert - We have it all covered!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Digital album

I thought I would share a couple of photos of my digital album of our trip to the USA.
I made a bit of a mess with the cover photo, not dropping it down low enough, with only one other tiny mistake, am blown away by the whole project.

I have used a combination of full photo backgrounds, black and even some fancy paper on other pages.

It is almost over

My world has been filled with university this year and now it is almost finished. I have just two weeks left of lectures and tutorials. All essays are handed in and only one still to be returned. I got back my Poetry essay last night and yes, I did it again. I got another '7'. I have realised at last that I can do this, I am really good at this stuff. Just waiting for my English essay results and then one exam and one Poetry portfolio.

Unfortunately, my single exam falls on the Wednesday of the week that my brother is visiting from South Africa, but it is only a 2 hour exam and I will be well prepared by the time he gets here, so that is all okay.

I am starting to plan for the 3 month break, wondering what I will fill my days with. I am going to continue writing poetry. Read as many of the books that I can for the English course I am planning to do next year and enjoy my scrapbooking hobby, cleaning house, preparing for Christmas and other things.

It has been an amazing year and I can't wait to continue next year.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Out of the darkness!

Tonight was my poetry lecture and workshop and I faced all the fears that I carry with me each and every time I have to present one of my poems for feedback. The poem that I chose to present this week, is very personal for me. I had no idea what sort of response it would receive. See Vesta-Poetry for the poem.

Anyway I took a deep breath and read my poem.
There was silence, a deep silence that lasted and lasted.
Then one of the girls whispered: "I felt like clapping."
The whole group then burst out clapping - for My Poem.

It created so many questions, so much comment and so much intrigue. Everyone loved the mystery, they wanted to know so much about it and one of the guys, said he was so glad that he knew the author, so he could find out just that little bit more. What an honour, I truly feel like I am now officially a Poet, not just someone who writes ditties, and little bits of poetry and prose on the sideline.

I am a POET!

So if you want to read all about it, check out Vesta-Poetry and read

"Our name is Ruth."

PS. I received my exercise portfolio back tonight as well. Worth 20% of my results and yes I did it. I got 18.5/20 another High Distinction. I am currently floating around the moon. I can see the stars and they are within my grasp. Fly high everyone, chase those rainbows and follow your dreams.

Fear of Failure!

It feels like a life-time ago that I filled in my application to return to University. At first I was not even sure I would be accepted and then my fears were that I would not be able to keep up with the work. I also feared that I would not fit in and here I am with only 4 weeks of lectures left in my first year. Where did the time go?

It is funny, I did get accepted, I have flourished and succeeded with good results and I do fit in (sort of), all my insecurities however, still exist. I worry about being older and standing out, making a fool of myself and not succeeding (even though my results say otherwise). Yet each week rolls by and I don't fail, I thrive. I love the learning, the joining in at tutorials and lectures and just being at university. There is still however, that little insecure child inside that keeps rearing her head and telling me otherwise.

Last week I received another little piece of reassurance to tell that little girl to quiet down.

I spoke to a lovely young lady at my local phone shop and she asked if I went to Uni, when I said yes, she said "I thought I recognised your voice, you are from my poetry lecture." I realised I must be making a positive noise/contribution. We had a good laugh and a connection, it was lovely.

Ivan then said how much he loved to stand outside my tutorial class on Monday nights and listen to my laughter and contributions as he waited to bring me home. I had not realised that he did this, and it gave me such a warm glow to hear that I wasn't making a fool of myself.

How often do we live with the fear that we will fail, so we don't even try? How often do we allow the little child inside to rule and tell us we can't do something, or that someone will laugh at us - so we don't even try.

I am glad I tried. I am glad that I am succeeding. I am determined everyday to keep trying and to tell 'my little child inside' that she is safe and I can look after her and Me.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Digital albums

Yesterday I received my USA trip, digital album back from Creative Memories. I had submitted it on Thursday last week and it arrived within one week - fantastic. I am so pleased with it. After years of traditional scrapbooking, I thought that I would try a large 12x12 digital album of our trip to the USA and UK in July. I had such fun creating it online and the end product is wonderful.

Ivan sat last night and read every single page - his comment "This is so professional and beautiful, I much prefer it to the other albums." That was really nice to hear. In the long run, I think it will be more cost effective, save heaps of time and take up so much less space on the book shelves.

I am in the middle of the UK one now and find that I can create a couple of pages at a time and walk away, so that is great. There is no mess or fuss and the end result is fantastic. After years of anti-digital album talk from me, I am convinced.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Poor Neglected Blog

It has been weeks since I have had a few moments to sit and update my Blog. I have been so busy with children, gardening, husband and all my wonderful University studies. I have become an obsessive student. I am always busy writing essays, researching or just indulging the love of my life, writing poetry.

I have just critiqued and analysed a poem for an essay and handed that in on Monday, so I am now hoping that I have done well in that piece of assessment. I have a 1500 word essay to write on King Lear and have read about 15 books/articles on him, oh boy, I did not know that so much had been written on a single Shakespearean play.

I must admit to totally loving every minute of my 'intellectual' life. I find myself so absorbed, that I lose hours and days of time.

So sincere apologies to all fans of Vesta, I will try to be more diligent in future.

Check out Vesta poetry for some new posts over the next couple of days.

We have been challenged to enter a poetry course competition to write a Triolet. It is a very structured poem (see details on Vesta-poetry), the prize is a $200 book voucher from the campus book shop, what an indulgence.

I will be posting my efforts for some comments, wish me luck.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Fish Breeder

Earlier this year Sarah got a new Fish Tank. We have taken to calling her Mrs Noah as she is pet and animal crazy. Anyway despite a few losses, most of her fish have done really well. With a couple of pregnant female guppies, we have had a few mishaps (baby fish being eaten), so we put the most pregnant female into the breeding tank (a small plastic enclosure) and before we knew it we had about 14 babies.
Today we spoilt her with a second tank for her 14 guppies, but throughout the day, her female kept giving birth to all these live young and now we have a second tank in our dining room filled with about 60 baby guppies and guess what - we have a second pregnant female
Bubbles on the right and baby fish on the left. About 60 of them.
It was actually an amazing experience to see this female give a shake and out pop about 4 live baby fish at a time. All the other fish in her tank eat the babies, including the male and female large guppies, so they do need to be seperated, hence the news tank.
We are now hoping that Mrs Noah, will be satisfied at least for a while.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I did it again!


All my hard work is paying off. Today I got my first essay back from my English course. My first assignment was a 700 word essay on Beowulf. I discovered the art of being concise in trying to write an academic essay in just 700 words and eventually after some hard work and 7 drafts submitted my essay.

My result was 95% - a high distinction. My only 2 errors were minor technical errors, that I did not even know about before this, without a single error in content. I am thrilled.
My tutor's comments were:
"This is a focused, thoughtful, and very well-constructed essay. No words are wasted. You use textual examples very well and there are some wonderful close readings. Keep up the good work!"

I have to say it is with so much joy and pride that I received this result. I am loving my courses, my poetry course is inspiring me to write almost everyday and this English course is developing my love of books and literature even further than it already is.

As I always tell my children, you get out what you put in, and this time it sure is the truth.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Live Life

My Mum visited the outpatient cardiology clinic today and has been given a clean bill of health. They do not know what caused her 'heart incident' and cannot give her any guarantees that it won't happen again, but they have told her to just live. The cardiologist told her that her heart is healthy, she is healthy and she should just live.

We are all celebrating, this is good news, so now she can just wake each morning, take a deep breath and live life. None of us know how long we have, when we will die, so I guess she is no different.

Mum, this is the best news ever, glad to have you around for a little longer.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The list is up

At the end of Semester One, I was sent a letter to say that I had made the Dean's List at Uni for my excellent results. This week the list was posted outside the Faculty of Arts office and Elizabeth took my photo in front of the board. It is a great feeling to see my name up. I think you need a GPA of over 6 to qualify, so it is quite an honour.
Just thought I would share my happy photo, wearing my lovely pink UQ sweatshirt.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Working at my craft

To be a great dancer, one must spend hours each and every day building the muscles and exercising the limbs. Learning the forms of dance and just dancing.
To be a great painter, one must draw, paint and study. Learning about colour and form, experimenting and just painting.
To be a great sports man or woman, the same rules apply, hard work and practice.

I have begun to realise that the same rules apply to being a writer, a poet. The inspirational thoughts and poems that I have written in the past can be improved. If this is my craft and my gift, then I must work at it. I must write each and every day. I must doodle with words, write dittys that will never see the light of day beyond the computer file in which they are stored. But, in doing this practice, I will learn, learn the form of writing, practice will give me the inspiration and hopefully out of all of this my great works will come.

So once more today I have been writing, writing poetry and working at my craft.

I am a writer, I am a poet.

Neglected Blog

Hours of poetry inspiration and writing left me with a 'mush brain' yesterday. By last night, I could no longer think in rhyme, meter or even words - my brain had just frizzled. Driving home from school Matthew asked what we were having for supper and I said a roast dinner. His question was: "Mom if you have been working hard all day, why are you cooking a roast?" I love my son, he is wonderful. I just laughed, thinking that he wouldn't care if I dished up toast, as long as I wasn't too tired.

I have my first exercise portfolio ready for submission on Monday for Poetry, I am happy with the results of my work and will be even happier if I get a good mark as it is worth 20%.

Life continues apace, with the children already counting down to our next short holiday, in 3 weeks time, it will be Spring holidays for 2 weeks and then we are in the final term of this year. Sarah has picked her language choice (chinese) for Middle School and Matthew will soon be chosing his subjects for his first year of Senior school. Time is just flying.

Someone had the audacity to point out the other day that it was less than 4 months to Christmas - Yikes!

Anyway enough rambling today, from a beautiful sunny Brisbane winter/spring morning I hope you have a wonderful Day.

Monday, August 31, 2009

An interesting few days

It has been a very strange weekend. On Thursday morning my Mom had a very bad turn at the shops and was rushed to our local hospital where her heart dropped to just 20 beats per minute (effectively stopping). Luckily she was in the emergency room when it happened and they managed to revive her. After a series of tests, they sent her home on Saturday afternoon all hooked up to a heart recorder/monitor and today (Monday) she is going for an ultrasound of her heart and for more tests. It doesn't appear that she had a heart attack, but rather is experiencing arythmia (irregular heartbeat).

The good news is that she is feeling a lot better and looking well, although tired.

Ivan came home from Bolivia on Friday, a few hours late - after travelling for about 42 hours.
Saturday and Sunday we gardened and Ivan cut down a few branches of the trees overhanging our roof. Needless to say the branches reacted badly to this and attacked back. Result one battered and bruised face.

It was a beautiful weekend, our 'winter' temperature reached 30 degrees on Sunday and the children took advantage of the recent warm weather that has heated up our pool water enough for a swim. Elizabeth said it was cold but refreshing.
A lovely weekend.
Ivan home, Mom alive and family fun and work together.
I wonder what this week will bring.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Concert Band Eisteddfod

In January this year, Sarah joined Concert Band at school and today participated in the Silkstone Eisteddfod. They played two great pieces and were awarded a gold award for their efforts. It has been lovely to watch her skill improve and the whole band grow and develop. This is the most junior of the West Moreton Anglican College bands and a great starting point for all the budding musicians. I enjoyed watching and listening to them perform - well done Sarah.

Sarah practising beforehand and after the award ceremony - standing with Mrs Kennedy - the Music school receptionist and behind the scenes lifesaver.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Farewell to a Great Lady.

Mary McCandless passed away 20th August 2009, age nearly 92.

This is the final photo taken as recently as July 2009 of Ivan's wonderful Grandmother Mary McCandless. Ivan, Elizabeth and I were lucky enough to visit and it was wonderful to see her joy at meeting one of her Australian grandchildren. Her greatest wish was to meet all the others and although this was not possible, she was quite content. During our visit, she talked about her husband who had passed away about 20 years ago and her words were that she was 'ready to join him.'
I know that he will be waiting for her tonight and that their great love for each other will continue.
My thoughts and prayers are with her children at this time of sadness and also her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Great-Granny we will miss you.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Domestic Goddess

Today I have been a 'Domestic Goddess!'

Now I am not adverse to housework, but there are so many other things that I love filling my day with, that I tend to do what is required, when needed and avoid the rest at all costs.

Today I did not have to take the children to school (again - thanks Mom), so hopped into some old clothes, dragged out the 'dead elephant' (vacuum cleaner) and started at one end of the house cleaning. I achieved miracles and even did all the little annoying tasks that I kept ignoring - like defrosting the bar fridge and even the big one in the laundry.

I think the ice shows that it needed doing.

I also wiped down window sills, shortened my new blinds, washed floors and took down the doorbell that has not worked for the past 3 years. I have hung out and brought in a load of washing and even ironed it. Cleaned the whole kitchen including the utensil holder and put a roast lamb in the oven.

I feel that I deserve the award for Domestic Goddess of the day - so am going to now go and reward myself with a hot, deep bubble bath and a book for 1/2 hour before the children get home.

New Blinds as well.

The Before and the After.

When we moved into the house, every window was decorated with net curtains. Now I don't mind some net, but it was a little too much. Over time I have taken down various curtains and replaced them and finally it was time for the bathrooms.

I got a great deal on blinds for the children's bathroom, toilet and also my en-suite and again with Dad and Mom's help hung all the blinds. Now we can use the bathroom without having to close the windows for privacy. Today I even tackled shortening them, this time by myself and I succeeded so am really happy. They look classy and elegant.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

He can do anything - We can do anything!

Broken Taps and Getting out the big guns

If you look closely at the cold tap on the right, you will see the washer at the bottom - now this should be at the top holding the handle on. Our house is 18 years old and is beginning to need some TLC. I haven't had a hot water tap for ages in my bathroom sink and the children's was just dreadful. So Dad kindly offered to help me replace them all.

Working in such a cramped space made life really difficult.

As always these tasks end up being far more difficult than first thought and although we managed to replace my taps on Friday in about 3 hours, the children's bathroom proved a different story. After 5 frustrating hours, we had it all connected but were worried about the old copper piping, it was kinked! We switched on the water and instead of a fountain of water into the sink, we had one underneath.
So it was off to the local hardware store before he closed at 2pm to buy a few more fittings and finally around 3.30pm - it was all finished.

My lovely new taps. I can't use them yet, as I am waiting for the silicone to cure under the drain-hole, but now hopefully I will be able to wash my face in hot water instead of cold.
Thanks Dad - you are an amazing man.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Public Holiday

As a stay-at-home Mom for 20 years, I have always struggled with weekends and public holidays - I have often complained that I work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. Holiday time for me is when I leave my house, travel with Ivan, go on holiday with the children or have some time away with my friend. I am never not working when I am home and if I take time out to just indulge me - it is just that an indulgence.

Now yesterday was a public holiday and the children had the day off school. Elizabeth worked in the morning, but I took the day off. It was only last night as I was heading to bed that I realised that I had completely taken the day off. This was a first. I had still done a load of washing, washed the dishes, fed my children but in my head I had the day off.

I spent the day scrapbooking, I sat in front of my computer for most of the day - creating journalling boxes, decorating my album and indulging my passion for my hobby. I did not think about all the chores I had to do, I did not feel as though I was letting anyone down and I did not feel like I was 'indulging me!' I was just taking a public holiday.

What was the difference, I don't really know, but now that I have experienced this, I know that I will be able to do it again. I will allow myself to take a day off on a weekend to relax and not fill it with all the things that have to be done. I will not feel guilty about not achieving all the things that are always going to be there for me to do. I am allowed to live a 'normal' not a Superwoman life.

I can stay at home and have a public holiday or a weekend and I also realise that I can allow Ivan to do the same. So many of our weekends are tainted with my frustration that he does not 'achieve' all the chores that need doing. I forget that he too needs some down time and that he does not need to work all weekend, every weekend in the garden, around the house. We don't have to be busy all the time.

This has been a liberating and powerful experience, so to everyone who has a public holiday or weekend coming up - remember you too can just give yourself a day off.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Scrapbooking morning

It has been a wonderful morning. The children have the day off school, so I decided to spend the morning scrapbooking. I have been working on my Alice Springs album, as I am seeing my friend Michelle on Sunday afternoon and want to show it to her.

I only have a few pages to go, that is because I forgot to print about 10 photos, will do those tomorrow and then it will be completed. I am so glad as I now have another finished project.

So my achievement for today - 26 pages of journalling boxes and decorating.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


What is it to see yourself as a failure?

I am not sure if anyone has a real answer to this question, for it is out of failures that huge leaps of success are sometimes born. Yet, we are taught from a very young age to fear failure. Schools test and mark us on everything that we do, even our attendance is marked off daily and not appearing is seen as a failure. Failure on behalf of our parents who do not get us to school, failure on behalf of ourselves that we would rather be somewhere else; failure to appreciate the opportunities we are given.

Failure is a very big word and carries with it, massive amounts of guilt.

I have feared failing my whole life. If I gave up on something then I was a failure. If I didn't not achieve that 100% - I was a failure. If I was not the very best person that I could be - I was a failure. If I asked for help - I was a failure.

I have realised that failing is not something to fear. Failing can just be a choice, or maybe it is because I do not have the skills required, but most importantly failing at something usually results because I do not want to do/achieve/finish something. I wonder why I ever thought that I had to do/achieve/finish these things in my life.

It has taken me over 45 years to realise that I cannot fail (Yes, I guess I can in reality); but the sense of guilt of failure is so much less when I look at it rather as a choice issue. I fail because I chose a different path, I fail because I chose not to be interested or to try to conform to what is required from an outside source. I do not however fail ME! I only fail the task - it is not personal.

All of the above post has resulted from a recent choice that I have made.

I have chosen to drop my online religion course for this semester. When I first started thinking about this, I feared being seen as a failure by my family, friends and strangers; even the lecturer who doesn't know me or even care. It took me a couple of days, some discussion with Elizabeth and Ivan and then I made a choice. I was not enjoying the course, I did not need to be doing it and I could chose to drop it. The sense of relief and peace was immense. I had not let anyone down, especially myself. Instead I had chosen to follow my dreams. I had tasted something and decided that I did not like it. I could chosen to stop, chosen to walk away and I was not a failure.

What path are you walking today? Are you failing or are you choosing?


Check out Vesta-poetry for my latest uni attempts:

I am loving the course.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Scrapbooking at last

My scrapbooking fell by the wayside last semester with my university commitments and it has been very hard to get motivated again. I have however, recently placed all my Alice Springs photos into a picfolio (slide-in) album and started doing the journalling boxes. I am up to page 20 in that and just doing a few at a time.

For my recent USA and UK trip I have decided to do a creative memories digital album, I am so enjoying the process and have just completed another 15 pages - total now up to 44 pages. It is looking wonderful and the process is easy and fun. I am slowly learning how the program works and experimenting with different layouts. It is much quicker than a traditional album, so heres hoping that it turns out well.

Almost Springtime

Not a great photo of the rosebed sun in the wrong place

It is almost spring in Brisbane, not that it is ever really winter. I know this because the mornings are lighter and my roses have started shooting even before they have had their winter prune.
Also my Jasmine creeper that sits outside my study window is starting to bud.
Today the temperature is a beautiful 22 degrees in the shade on my patio and I decided to prune and feed my roses.
Now this is something that Ivan and I usually do together, I prune and he turns and weeds the bed, but he is not here so all on my own, I pruned, weeded, turned the bed, watered and fed the roses. I am feeling nurtured and refreshed.

Yesterday, I was feeling tired and unwell, so this earth energy has renewed me and I feel tired but satisfied. Look out in the next few weeks, for some lovely photos of the rose bed as the new blooms appear.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dean's List

Today I received a letter from the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Queensland, to congratulate me on my excellent first semester results and inform me that I had made the Dean's list. My final GPA for the semester was 6.33 (out of a possible 7). Now the challenge - how do I match that this semester.

Faculty of Arts Dean’s Commendation for High Achievement

We are writing to congratulate you on your excellent results during Semester One, 2009.
These results place you in the top band of students enrolled in your program. This is an achievement of which you can be justifiably proud.

Your academic transcript has been annotated to show that you have been included on the Dean's List for Semester One, 2009. A copy of this List is displayed on the Faculty noticeboard.

We extend our warmest congratulations on your academic achievement during this year, and wish you well in your future pursuits.

Yours sincerely
Professor Richard Fotheringham
Executive Dean
Faculty of Arts

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Unchained Melody

At last I have my MP3 player working. I bought this from Elizabeth when she updated to an iPod and I have not really used it as I did not take the time to figure the thing out properly. Anyway on Monday at uni I thought I would listen to it and yes, it was flat - total frustration.

It is now fully charged and this morning I have floated around the house on a cushion of music, doing my chores. At the moment I have 'Unchained Melody' playing on repeat. It is one of my favourite pieces of music and whenever it ends I never want to move onto the next song, so have it on repeat for the moment, it is wonderful.

If anyone out there in the blogger world knows how to add a piece of music to my Blog, please will you send me the instructions. As it would be great to be able to add this great song to this post, but sorry folks - don't know how????

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bathing the Dog!

Our Abby is such a silly dog. We don't believe in bathing dogs too often, as it destroys their natural oils and means that they then require even more bathing.
But Abby has been a little smelly (not much, just a little) and itchy for a while now, so I decided to let Tracey come in and give her a wash and nail clip. It was so funny! Tracey was calm and wonderful with her, but I was glad that Dad was here to help. He is so good with Abby and calmly helped.
Abby whimpered, cried and talked through the whole experience. The end result a damp, happy dog, who smells a whole lot better. Her treat - Grandad took her for a walk and she got a biscuit.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Happy 71st Birthday

Last night we celebrated my Dad's 71st birthday with a yummy roast lamb dinner.
A lottery ticket was his first gift and if he won the $20 million it would be the best present, but if he won nothing then it would be the worst.
A new David Attenborough DVD and a photo with me. We both look really serious.
I cannot believe Dad is 71, he is so healthy, fit and still has all his amazing sense of humour and intelligence. The only failing is his hearing and I think sometimes in our family, is thinks this is a blessing rather than a curse.
Happy Birthday Dad!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Travelling again

My lovely husband is travelling again. Every time that he travels I pack his case for him. It is my way of going along and him knowing how much I am going to miss him. I have done this for the 20 years of our marriage and each and every case I have packed and unpacked for him, has been filled with not only his clothes but my love and safe wishes for his journey.

I sure will miss him once more as he is away for the month of August. I know that he misses us all very much and just this one little thing means that I can keep him safe and filled with my love, then I am happy.

Safe Travels Ivan.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I love reading..but???

I totally love reading and have been known to read 3-4 books in a single week (usually when Ivan is away and I can read to all hours of the night).

But - I am overwhelmed at the moment and it is going to be a challenge!

For English Classics alone (let alone Poetry and Religion) I have to read:

Chaucer - "The Miller's Prologue and Tale" from The Canterbury Tales
Shakespeare - King Lear
Jonathan Swift - Gulliver's Travels, Part 4
Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice
James Joyce - "The Dead"
Robert Browning "My last Duchess"
T.S. Elliot - Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock
Poems by Phillip Larkin
Jean Rhys - Wide Sargasso Sea (finished)
Toni Morrison - Beloved (finished)
Salman Rushdie "The Prophet's Hair" & "English is an Indian Literary Language"

Plus 14 Chapters of Literary Criticism Theory.

It is huge and overwhelming and this is just one course.

I have hired a DVD of King Lear, hired the audio book of Beowulf and am contemplating attaching a copy of something to a wire frame to dangle in front of my glasses so I can read as I work through life.

It is going to be wonderful.
My family is not going to have any clean clothes, cooked meals (takeaway is on order), a clean house or a sane mother, but boy oh boy, I am going to thrive and succeed and have fun doing it.

Today was my first English lecture and I went straight to the library afterward and wrote up my notes as I waited for Elizabeth to finish her lecture. So I am ahead of the game. Hopefully, I can stay that way, so send me good eyes, a sponge for a brain and lots of hours in the day.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

An Angel's Gift.

First of all this is not the best photo in the world and a better one will be up soon, but I need to get this out to the world immediately.

My amazingly talented youngest child has once more blown me away, with her amazing gifts. My Mom has been teaching Sarah to do a little pyrography (wood burning) and Sarah decided that because I love Angels so much she would do one for me for Christmas.

Over the holidays (when I was away) she found this picture on the Internet and traced it onto the wood. Then things got in the way and she left it. Today she had some time with Granny and Grandad (she has been home with a sore throat) and decided to 'have a go at Mommy's Angel.'

Well not only did she have a go, but has produced this MAGNIFICENT GIFT. The detail and beauty of her talent is wonderful and I am blessed by my child who gave it to me tonight. I want to boast to the world of her talent, but will restrain myself to sharing on my Blog.

What makes us laugh?

In response to my post yesterday, Michelle made the comment that she finds it hard to laugh. It really got me thinking about how much I do laugh and what I laugh at.

My son is the person in my life who makes me laugh the most. He has a very quick-witted sense of humour. He finds something funny about almost every situation and sometimes it is inappropriate, but I still find it really funny and have to harness in my natural desire to laugh and play the parenting role.

Yesterday we were driving home together and a large truck pulled into the Garden centre in front of us. Matthew commented that they looked sinister and were probably carrying something dangerous. My reply was: "Probably grass!" His reply: "No weed" My reply "No pot/s", his reply they probably have "crack in them". And so the two of us giggled and laughed for a few minutes. Bonding in a way that I thank God for every single day.

I love laughter, it cleans my insides! It is hard to worry about things when a real laugh takes hold. I love clever humour and fun. So laugh everyday, find something funny, a joke, a song, or maybe a silly comment. Just Laugh!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Waiting for News

I have been inspired to write today about a friend who is 'waiting for news.'
My new Blog friend Darlene is waiting for some health news and today posted an inspirational Blog called IF. She commented that 'If' the news was not good she would live her life, like she was dying - but not recklessly; and continue to treat people the way she wanted to be treated.
And if the news was good, she would do her happy dance and pretty much live the life she was planning to live if she was dying.

This made me think, that if we were told today that we only had a certain number of days to live, what would we change? It made me think that this is how we should live our lives everyday, because even though we may have years, months or even days to live - each day should be lived like it is our last.

I believe with all my heart that at the end of each day, I should go to bed and know that if I did not wake in the morning, I would be satisfied that I had lived my life to the very best. Made mistakes along the way, but lived. Tried my best and lived. Enjoyed each and every gift and faced each and every challenge with grit and determination. Treated all those I love with respect and honesty and all those I don't know or don't like just the same.

To my friend Darlene, I wish you well, I hope your results are positive and healthy and I am proud to be able to say I have a Canadian Blog Friend - Eh!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Silence on Friday

My house is filled with Silence. No music, no TV, no children's voices, no traffic outside - just silence. Well, I can hear the hum of my computer; the tick, tick of my fingers on the keyboard, the birds singing and chirping in the amazing winter sunshine today (temperature around 16 degrees - how about a Brisbane winter) and Silence!

It feels like forever, since I was at home alone, with no urgent assignment due, no cases to pack and organise for a trip (yes, I know that is such a hardship) and most of the housework completed. I have the two loads of washing on the line, the dishes washed, the groceries packed away, the cleaning from 2 days ago still looks good and I am home alone - Yippee!!!!!!

There are many things that I could and perhaps should do today, but I think that I am going to indulge in some serious ME time. I am going to relax and finish 'Beloved' by Toni Morrison (it is one of my text books); I am going to skim through my new text book: "How to read a poem and fall in love with poetry." I think that I will indulge in a tasty cheese and salad sandwich on fresh whole grain bread with a big glass of Lime Juice with ice and just refresh my brain. And I think that I will do most of this out in the beautiful Brisbane Sunshine.

Today is going to be about battery recharging!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Washington Sights

Elizabeth and I both loved the sights of Washington. We were really tired by the time we hit town, but were determined to 'see it all!' Ivan took some great photos of us on the Saturday afternoon that he got to spend with us.

A visit to the White House, pity we didn't get invited in for tea, never mind we will try Buckingham Palace, when we are in London.