Saturday, February 28, 2009

Yes it is broken!

Instead of this.....

We have This!
Matthew has a fracture in his wrist and will need to be in plaster for the next four weeks, missing the rest of the season of cricket. He has only managed 1 match because of the rain this February.

We went up to school to support the team for an hour or so, but that is the end of his season.

Our Softball Superstar

Our amazing new Softball Superstar!
Sarah has never been very good at sport and as a result has never really wanted to try out for any team sports. This year our dear friend Rosemary a teacher at Sarah's school encouraged her to really give Softball a go. With lots of encouragement, a team of 19 girls tried out and have been having lots of practice sessions at school. The first two games were washed out, so today was our first big morning.

Photo taken through fence (shadow)

Rosemary decided to calm Sarah's nerves by making her first batter in the first innings and she made it all the way home. First inning WMAC scored 6 runs (and got the whole team home) to Redeemer College's 2 runs. Second innings Sarah was 3rd batter and made it home as well, another 3 runs to WMAC and only 1 run to Redeemer in their 2nd innings! What excitement from our girls. Well Done!

Sarah I am so proud of you, for your intense effort, your lovely team spirit, even thanking the umpire and for the support of your team mates. Go for it Superstar!

Friday, February 27, 2009

An Apple a Day keeps the Doctor away!

This morning Elizabeth was so excited! She found an apple with a leaf on it. Now for all us who get our apples from supermarkets nowadays, we know that apples have to be a perfect round shape, colour, shine and with no silly things like leaves. She said it felt like a real apple! The new batch of Royal Gala apples in our supermarket have been just delicious and this one was no exception. Elizabeth's joy made me rush for my camera.

Now for the rest of the story!

I know the saying goes 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away' - well I just wish that Matthew ate more apples!

He came home from school today to tell me that he fell over a railing and landed really hard on his wrist and that it was very sore. Matthew has the highest pain threshold of anyone I have ever met, so when he says it is sore, then it is!

I felt around the area, with him flinching and he said that he could feel a grinding sort of sound when he moves it - Oh No! Of course by now it is 4.30pm and a phone call to the Dr resulted in an appointment for tomorrow morning at the earliest and instructions to strap it up over night.

With lots of experience in this sort of thing (he has broken his wrist 2 years ago and his thumb last year) I got out the wooden spoon and bandage and strapped it up.

The problem is he was supposed to be playing cricket tomorrow afternoon and without him the team is one man short and will have to forfeit. Also tomorrow I am heading off at 7am with Sarah for her Softball game, so Daddy is going to have to do the Dr and x-ray visit and then back to the Dr hopefully if it is not broken getting Matthew to cricket by 1pm.

Oh well joy of being parents I guess!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rain and washing.

All the nearly dry towels on the dryers in the house.

This morning I did a huge load of washing - all the towels in the house. It was a beautiful morning, so hung in them on the line.

Coming home we drove through the heaviest rain and darkest clouds and even just a few hundred metres up the road it was very wet. As we drove into the driveway, it looked fairly dry, but with the rain starting, so we all ran like mad for the lines and got in the 'almost' dry towels!

I think the dry washing fairy was looking after me today.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Market day at uni

This is me with my UQ union bag and all the goodies we could wish for. Elizabeth suggested that we collect as many pens as possible. It was chaotic, loud, fun and amazing. So many enthusiastic young people in one place. Amazingly enough I fitted in, even meeting up with some of Elizabeth's old school friends who are also in second year. They were so excited for me that I was returning to my studies.
Elizabeth standing with our bags of goodies and our free cans of coke zero! We avoided the sugar hit, unlike most of the students who were on sugar highs from all the free lollies and drinks. A great day - thanks Elizabeth for being my guide, my amazing daughter and my friend.

Wednesday morning

This is now going to be a short post, after the Technology Pixie decided to sabotage my previous amazing long post. I had got to the last word, when the keyboard went psycho!

Anyway here it is:

Today is market day at university. The Great Court will be filled with stalls from all the societies and I believe the idea is to collect as many pens as you can. I also have a welcome lecture with the English dept, so that should be fun.

It is of course Ash Wednesday today, so Matthew will be helping at Chapel as Middle School Captain, I think he is a little nervous.

Look out tonight for photos of the day. Have a good one!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Monthly orthodontic pilgrimage!

Today Matthew and I made our monthly pilgrimage to the Royal Children's Hospital for his orthodontic check-up. His appointment was at 8.10am, so we left home at 6.30am (thinking we would stop for a nice breakfast at the cafe when we arrived). We arrived at 8.10am for our 8.10am appointment - The traffic was SHOCKING!!!! Even the Orthodontist had not made it in and only arrived at abut 8.30am every major road in Brisbane was grid-locked this morning. Great!
I only wish I had taken my camera into the front of the car, I could have got a great couple of photos as the motorway looked more like a parking lot and I would have had plenty of time. Even the run home was terrible and a normal 30 drive, took us forever.
The good news is that his teeth are coming along really well and we don't have to go back for another 6 weeks - Yippee!

Monday, February 23, 2009


This is Me, all ready and excited with my amazing 'purple' backpack!
My beautiful tour guide, a second year student who knows all the ropes.

The girls, having a photo to remember Mom's first day.

Matthew now so much taller than me and Sarah catching me up so quickly. We always celebrate the first day of the school (now Uni as well) year with a height photo. I guess I will be in the front soon.

What an amazing first day!

Today I went to Uni!

It was amazing, to just fit in. As a Mature-Age student (don't you love the words), I felt right at home with the younger and maybe not so younger students. I must admit to enjoying looking around at the different backpacks, shoulder bags, and no bags just a notebook in hand today. Also all the fashions, those that conformed and those that didn't. University is for expression as well as learning and today I loved it.

Orientation today gave me a great lecture on the use of the I.T. dept and for all those who know me, you will realise how much I needed this lecture. I must admit, I am impressed with what is on offer. Also quite excited to explore all that is available.

I also attended a lecture on the requirements of Academic writing, very helpful, in that I sat planning out my first essay in my head while listening to the advice.

Elizabeth was my amazing tour guide and helped me find where all my classes will be held next week. We had so much fun hanging out together. How many Moms get to share an experience like this with their amazing 19 year old daughters? Well I do!

Tomorrow is a day of Mom duties with Matt's visit to the orthodontist, but Wednesday it is Market day and a few more lectures. How exciting!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My bag is packed!

My cool bag for university.

Uni starts tomorrow - well it is Orientation week, where I get to go along and find out all about Uni life. I will be attending lectures of academic writing, research and using the university computer system (Help!!)

I will also get to attend a welcome lecture for both English and Religion and hopefully meet a few people doing the same courses as me.

I am all signed up for my Writing Tutorial on Wednesday evenings after the lecture and now getting quite excited.

Only one week to go before the 'real' work begins and I will have to knuckle down to some hard work and some fun. Look out this week for some photos!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Life's little lessons

I am learning to listen, listen to my heart, my soul and most importantly listen to my body.

Years ago on the Oprah show (yes I am a huge fan), Oprah told everyone to give themselves a birthday gift and get a health check-up each birthday. I have been trying to follow this advice but with occasional degrees of success and failure.

This year turning 45, I was determined to get the whole lot checked and also a few niggling tummy discomfit issues. Anyway yesterday I had a CT scan of abdomen and pelvis and a few minor issues have appeared. Will need some further tests to determine a more detailed result, but it is obviously something that I had to do. Oh boy, am I glad that I took the time to listen.

I am so glad that I am learning to listen to my body, listen to what I need to live to my dream age of 101 and to live as healthily as I can.

My message to everyone is if you suspect that you need to do something about your health, your psyche, your soul or your mind. Don't leave it until tomorrow, do it today.

Wishing you all good health.

Mushroom morning.

I love this photo, taken low down of the mushrooms in their own world.
A garden filled with mushrooms.

All in a row!
Sarah told us yesterday all about how the spores are blown on the wind, or wait underground, ready for the right conditions to grow. Lots of moisture, well we have had that over the past week, with showers and rain most evenings.
I love the white texture and the brown spots.
What a blissing to wake to such pretty garden decorations this morning.

Frustrations with technology

This morning I have had one of 'those' mornings!

I decided to take my camera out into the garden to take some photos of the mushrooms that have sprung up overnight from all the rain and damp. They look so amazing all white and tall against the green grass.

First of all my camera is playing up, it needs servicing, so I struggled with it a little and then finally got it working.

I then came inside to load them up onto the computer and no-way was this happening. First of all the program bombed out half-way through the upload and now the card-reader won't work.

So instead of beautiful serene dew soaked photos of mushrooms, you get me ranting about the failure of my technology!!!!

I think back to bed is the best option for me this morning. Two sick kids, a dog that I am ready to kill and Friday at last, I think I will head back to bed for a few hours and try again later.

I hope your day flows better.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I have the card to prove it!

Today I went through to the University of Queensland and got my student card. I joined all the other students in the queue and handed over my Welcome to UQ letter and Driver's licence, smiled for my photo and was handed an official 'full-time' student ID card. I was so excited and of course had to get Elizabeth to take a photo of me for my Blissings album.
We then went to the library and using 'my card' I borrowed 2 exciting texts for my essay on 'Meditation and Contemplation'. I am it! I am a student. I have done it! WOW!
Next week is Orientation week, where I get to attend information lectures, go on tours and also join all the societies that I am interested in; and then on Wednesday 4th March, my first lecture starts!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A new visitor to our garden

This amazing White-headed Pigeon is a rare rainforest native, who has not read the bird books. It is normally found in pairs or groups of up to 14 birds eating the fruits of the rainforest trees.

This little fellow popped into our seed feeders this afternoon and was not at all shy, allowing us to get really close for some great photos.

Along with our normal family of Rainbow Lorikeets, it is so exciting to have another new species in the garden. I guess it helps that we have planted over 300 native trees in the past four years.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

New Blogs

I have been surfing the Blogs today and found two wonderful new blogs. Amazingly, both are scrapbookers and one lovely lady is doing a 365 day project. It seems amazing that there are so many of us in the world that are documenting lives that we live on a daily basis.

I can sit here at my computer in Australia and connect with lives in the USA and in Canada and daily watch things happening in the lives of strangers, who through their blogs will become 'friends' even if they never know that I am getting to know them.

I love this amazing medium and often think that our current generation is going to be the 'Golden Age of memories'; of information about everyday life. The legacy that we leave behind, will be the daily little things, things that are missing from the major 'historical' text books of our time. The world will know us, by the things we share and talk about through our blogs.

Like my Blissings project the idea of 365 posts, that share what is happening in your life on a daily basis is wonderful.

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!
My beautiful husband gave me this wonderful card and the final season of our favourite comedy series 'The Vicar of Dibley!' He surprised me as we have seldom celebrated Valentine's Day over the past 20 years, deciding that the commercial hype took away the meaning for us both and yet, my heart swelled with love when I read his words and opened my gift. Maybe the meaning of Valentine's Day is the LOVE that inspires us to spend money on all the commercial hype.
My favourite colour and today on Valentine's day I have the joy of wearing a new purple top and feeling happy and colourful. My lovely Sarah took this photo of me, saying : "Mom you look spectacular" How is that for a wonderful comment from your daughter.
So whatever colour you love, red for Valentine's day or purple for Love, I wish you LOVE, JOY AND HAPPINESS this February 14th.

Friday, February 13, 2009


During the night I kept waking to the sound of rain. Now we have a colour bond roof, so the sound of rain is always much louder, but last night it was so very welcome. The garden was once more beginning to need some water and knowing that it was raining on and off all night was lovely.

This morning the rain gauge registered 13mm and it is still going. What a blessing! I only wish we could blow these clouds down to Victoria to relieve their heat and fires.

Of course, today was also Sarah's swimming carnival, which I am sure will now be cancelled! She will be celebrating. I will get her to take her togs along, just in case, but I don't think they will be able to hold it in all the rain.

Amazing how beautiful the world looks and smells when the earth has been washed and cleaned with rain. So today my Blissing is rain.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Valentine Love

I have not been big on celebrating Valentine's Day for years. Maybe, because I have someone who I LOVE and who LOVES me 365 days of the year and often when the mood strikes, we show our LOVE with 'Valentin- type' things, such as cards or flowers or special notes.

But, yesterday I truly felt the LOVE of a Valentine's Day, as a special friend, sent me a gift of LOVE. It was something handmade and full of the LOVE we share as friends. I am blessed to experience and have such an amazing person in my life.

I am truly blessed and LOVED in that not only do I have my amazing husband, my three wonderful children, my parents and of course my friends. I also have a silly dog, who thinks that I am a god, when I feed her and when I arrive home her delight and LOVE always puts a smile on my face. I also live in a community that shows compassion and friendship and those things I see as a form of LOVE.

Maybe, Valentines day is not about sending an expensive card or an even more expensive bunch of Roses, but rather acknowledging the LOVE that we are given in life and the LOVE that we share with others.

I hope on February 14th this year, you receive a little or a lot of LOVE and that the feelings continue throughout the year.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Yesterday I was watching the Oprah Winfrey Show and she had a guest that remembered 'everything' in her life especially from the the age of 12, although can recall events from the crib!
It was amazing to listen to her recalling the day (eg Friday) of dates and amazing events that occurred on that day as well as personal experiences that occurred years previously. She never forgets! She could even tell Oprah about shows that Oprah had done many years previously and the day and date that they had been aired.

However, along with the memories, she also remembers the emotions and feelings. Now for wonderful experiences like a birthday or a celebration that would be wonderful, but she also remembers and feels all the pain of every insult she has ever received and every hurt that she has experienced (including the death of her husband and the pain of his loss).

It got me thinking about my memories!

Over the past 4 years I have been dealing with painful past memories and re-living the events as well as the hurt that I felt. I had successfully 'forgotten' so much, but in dealing with these issues, I had to relive and re- experience the pain. Memory is so important to us as humans, but I have realised so to is forgetting.

My little brother used to say "I have a good forgetter" when he had forgotten to do something; not "I have a bad memory" and I guess that is a great way of looking at things. Sometimes it is essential to our lives that we do forget, we can live easier if we remember the good and let go of the 'bad' or painful.

I wonder how much of your life you remember and in what detail, do you remember the emotions or just the events and do you remember the small daily things of life? Or are your memories only filled with the big picture items?

A journal helps us to remember the small things in life and often opens the filing drawer to fill in all the gaps. Writing is my gift to myself, it allows me to remember, that is why I love scrapbooking or 'memory-keeping'. I want to leave a memory-legacy to say I have lived and this is my life!

Do you remember or do you forget?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cuckoos and Wolves

Sunday morning I was woken at 3.20am by a Cuckoo, well it probably was a Koel or maybe even a couple of Shrikes calling to each other, but it sounded just like a Cuckoo clock. At first I lay there annoyed that it was so early, then as I lay and listened, I realised how much more peaceful and natural it felt that the 'stupid buzz' of an alarm clock which was set to go off at 4.00am.

I was taking Mom and Dad to the airport to catch their flight to New Zealand and we had to leave at 4.30am, joy of living so far from the airport.

As we drove down the road in the dark and approached our local supermarket, there were two dark shapes on the traffic island. Dad said: "Those are wolves!" This was just as I had the same thought, they were huge and still, with beautiful serious eyes and did not flinch or stir as we drove past. One of them did not even lift its snout from the ground, while the other just watched us as we drove slowly by.

We contemplated that they could be German Shepherds or Huskies, or maybe even a cross between the two, but their entire demeanour left an eerie but not scary feeling that still lingers now 3 days later.

It is strange to experience something so different and the effect it leaves?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Meditation and Soul Journeys

The past 12 months have seen my life take a new and wonderful path as I have embraced a 'New Age' approach in my reading and thoughts. I have been reading lots of inspiring books and when considering the courses that I wanted to study at University I became fascinated with courses on 'New Age' Religions. So it was with some excitement that I signed up to study Meditation and Soul Journeys.

Today I have had the joy of doing the 'reading' for my first lecture and I realise that I am on track!

One of my serious beliefs in life has always been that we exist primarily in our thoughts! If we were not here then our life would not exist, therefore, how we think about something is how we can create it. Not the conventional thought that we have to experience the life that is created for us. (Hopefully this makes sense?)

My reading was on a journal article written by Daniel A. Helminiak and deals with the psychology of Meditation. One of his paragraphs states:

One realises that much of what one called "reality" is merely thought, that one lives for the most part in a system of concepts and constructs inherited from one's culture, and that thought is but an attempted ordering of a more basic perceptual data. One can live life creatively.

These sentences alone are so exciting to me. I cannot wait for my courses to start in early March, I know that I am going to learn and grow. To find the 'authentic' me.

I hope you all enjoy the journey with me as I find out so many different and new exciting lessons about life.

Heat, fire and heartbreak!

Today my heart goes out to the hundreds of people who have lost so much during the past couple of days in Victoria. It has been very close to my heart as we so nearly bought property in the Kinglake region, when we stilled lived in Melbourne. Many times we looked at the beautiful properties up in Kinglake and considered how wonderful it would be to live in this amazing area.

Today as we face the news that so many people have lost their lives and so many properties have also been destroyed, I would like to commend the amazing bravery of the fire and rescue services. Stories of heartbreak abound and the devastation will change lives forever.

I send out my prayers and best wishes to all those affected and ask everyone to consider donating to the Bush fire appeals that have been set up to help those whose lives have been so damaged.

Friday, February 6, 2009


I wrote this morning about being so busy and feeling daunted and then afterwards, I had the silence of the house and my own thoughts and instead of letting them run riot and randomly as they have been doing for days and weeks now; I decided to focus on one thing only at a time.

I achieved so much! Instead of continually flitting from thought to thought, I just focused in on the things I wanted to achieve. I did my washing, hung it out and that was completed. I finished the 'small' (for a change) pile of ironing and put it all away. I then came to the computer and instead of flitting from area to area in the university system, I focused on reading the notes for my first lecture on religion. Some of it I did not understand, but instead of being distracted and going off on a tangent, I decided to just keep reading, completing the 12 pages of an academic journal and guess what I understood most of it. WOW!

I sent off an email to my lecturer and have even received a reply which has set my mind at rest for the end of semester, so now can enter joyously into the whole course and achieved the rest of my goals for the day.

I even managed to sort and print the photos for my blissings album and Elizabeth's birthday. So all in all I have had an amazing day.

Probably on the whole a lot more busy than most days, but unlike yesterday when most of my busy-ness was taken up with worry, planning, more worry and procrastination, today I achieved by focused thought.

Just thought I would share, hope you all have sucessfully busy days.

Busy and Daunted!

My life has taken over living!

This week has been such a busy one, and I have realised that being busy does not allow much time to really live. I think that one of the major disadvantages of modern life, is that we have so much to do and to achieve every 24 hours, that we leave ourselves little time to contemplate, to think and in my case to create! Most families have both parents working, children at school and after school activities, family meals are late and rushed and TV fills in the few hours that are left in the day. TV is wonderful for being busy through other people's lives. We watch shows that show us everyone else being busy, we seldom watch shows where there is stillness and quiet and if we do - we often fall asleep. (David Attenborough - wildlife - his amazing voice!)

I also realised this week that I am very daunted by the thought of University, I received my course profile for both my religion courses and the readings alone are huge. I realised that I have my first essay due on April 8th and I have no idea how to even begin researching something like this??? I know that if I just go with the flow and don't think about the task ahead that I will easily be able to achieve what is needed, but whenever I take the time to think about what I am about to tackle, I get very, very nervous!

It is over 26 years, since I last did any sort of serious study and even then I found the whole process difficult, of course not difficult in that I could not do it, but difficult to commit to, to achieve and mostly the fear of failure often made me give up before I had even started.

So two more goals for 2009 are:
to find my stillness and time to reflect and live, to write and create
and also to allow myself the courage to succeed, to no longer fear failure before I even start, to just try and then succeed.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I will go back!

On January 15th, 2009 Ivan and I took the children down to the beach for a swim and to use their new boogie boards. It was a very hot day and after a few hours of fun in the sun, we decided to walk to our 'regular' cafe for some lunch. Much to our disappointment, it had been taken over by an upmarket cafe called Lolas!

We were all very thirsty however, so decided to have a drink and on sitting down looked at the menu and although a bit pricier than our previous haunt did not seem too bad. We ordered Spaghetti Bolognaise for Ivan and Sarah to share, Pizza for Elizabeth and I and a bowl of chips for Matthew! The food arrived and it was really good. A few cold drinks later, we got the bill, which I checked (sort of - I had no reading glasses). All items appeared correct, and I signed the credit card slip.

Walking away I thought, I don't want to spoil the day out by moaning about costs, but that was so expensive, the lunch bill was $108.50. So I didn't say anything, until later to Ivan, we agreed that it was ridiculous.

Now for the best bit!

Yesterday I was checking the credit card statement and came across the bill again, this time with my glasses on and went through each item and there on item 3 was a bowl of chips for $45.00!!!!!

Well you can imagine my shock! I showed Elizabeth and we both said it was obviously a mistake, but I thought I would not have a hope as I had signed the credit card bill. Anyway I decided to phone the restaurant and spoke to the manager, a lovely man named Matthew! I explained the situation and he was immediately so apologetic. I explained that I had not checked the bill as I had not had my glasses on and he reassured me that they should also have checked the bill.

He said to please pop in and he would give me my money back. When I said that I did not live locally, he said that he was meeting his accountants in an hour or so and would let me know what he could do. I later received the loveliest call to say that they would pay the $45.00 back into my account.

Not only am I going to get back the $45 but the entire conversation was an extremely uplifting and pleasant conversation. Matthew even had the wonderful sense of humour to enquire whether we had enjoyed the bowl of chips!

So through a little charm, sincere service and a genuine regard for their customers, I give LOLAS at Broadbeach my highest recommendation, because the food, service and atmosphere had been good, and my dealings with the management of the restaurant was amazing.

Well Done to Lolas!