Friday, December 31, 2010


My last post of 2010 - it doesn't seem possible that the year is about to finish - I am not ready for 2011 yet!

2010 has been an amazing year, filled with success, troubles, problems, solutions and success, success, success!

I returned to university again this year and loved every moment of my studies. Although I only completed 3 courses this year, it finished off a full first year of my 3-year degree. I am still as passionate, if not more, about studying. I love the interaction, knowledge and satisfaction of being a student.

My family survived 2010 - we had our ups and downs - both Elizabeth and Sarah had tough years, but as we finish the year - I look at them both and know that they are beautiful, happy girls. They are stronger for their trials and with our love and support continue to grow and thrive. Our Matthew had a good year, rather more laid-back that 2009, but one in which he really began his journey into manhood - those broad shoulders, long legs and deep voice - tell the story.

Ivan did less travelling this year, although November & December were crazy - with 3 overseas trips. After 22 years together I can say that I love him more than ever - he has my soul and my heart - and I have his.

Writing has been my passion this year - I have written blogs, essays, poetry and finally my second novel. I managed to self-publish my book of poetry "An Angel's Anthology" and I am very proud of it.  My second novel has turned out so much better than I hoped and I have begun work on the third installment. I also found a new spiritual peace - I attended the "I can Do It" conference in Sydney with my lovely friend Michelle and it blew me away - I gained confidence in expressing my Spirituality in new ways.

At the end of 2010 I am healthy, a little too fat, but happy. I feel content and peaceful as an 'almost' 47 year old and am looking forward to the year ahead.

Tomorrow I will post my dreams and wishes for 2011, but for now I wish you all a safe New Year's Eve.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas to one and all.

Christams Eve in Australia and in one hour and 20 minutes Elizabeth will be finished work and our celebrations will begin.

Tonight we will enjoy a Christmas Game show/play written and produced by Sarah, Elizabeth and Matthew.

Then we will enjoy a light supper together and open the gifts from family and friends that have been appearing under the tree for the last few weeks.

Children and adults will then retire to bed to await a magical Christmas morning.

Wishing you all, a Merry Christmas and a safe and properous New Year.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Only three more sleeps until Christmas morning - how exciting.

All my shopping is done, all the presents are wrapped, all the baking completed and mostly eaten and starting to feel in the Christmas mood.

This morning Elizabeth and I opened No 22 on our advent calendar - only 2 days to go.

The house is clean (more or less), the ironing will be finished this morning and then only a few things to do each day and Ivan and Elizabeth have just 3 more days of work before they finish up for the holiday.

It feels wonderful.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, a Happy, Joyful New Year and 2011 filled with dreams that become reality.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

In honour of volunteers

I took this lovely photos of Mom and Dad wearing their new Hospice Volunteer shirts. They both look so happy and proud in them (yes, Dad your chest is puffed out :) )

About 6-9 months ago, they both began doing volunteer work in a local bookshop to support a local Hospice care house - where guests who are terminal can be cared for. This wonderful fortnightly activity has introduced them to another world of friends, company and people and they contribute with their wonderful joy and friendship as well as their time.

Through this Christmas period they are selling Christmas baubles and messages to hang on a Christmas tree, to remember those who have passed on, or just are not with us today. It is a lovely idea and helps bring in much needed funds.

So to my parents and to all volunteers, I dedicate this post. You do a wonderful job and I am so proud of you.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

So excited!

Today it arrived.

My first publication. Check out the sidebar - An Anthology of Angel's Verse.

And I can even sell copies of it online - Wow!

Thank you to my family for their patience as I transition from full-time Mum, to student, poet and writer.

I love you all.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Drying washing Queensland style

After weeks of rain, I decided to wash sheets and towels today and use my fan to help the drying process. We normally have such beautiful weather that I haven't bothered with a clothes dryer - but must admit that I am now beginning to re-think the idea.

Still after just 3 hours, a full load of towels and sheets were dry.

Shadows mean sunshine

It happened I awoke to full sunshine and the call of the 'Laughing Kookaburra' - I knew that I neede to get outside quickly and take a few photos and absorb some vitamin D - I was right!

The cloud cover is quickly returning, but it feels so much better having just a few hours reprieve from the rain yesterday and this morning.

Yesterday, we managed to cut the grass (Matthew and I) and I got 4 loads of washing dried.

Kookaburras who often call after a storm, woke me this morning.

The front garden in the sunshine.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Santa Paws

Santa Paws

Sarah decided that Bella would look very cute dressed up in a Santa outfit this year. Bella sat patiently waiting for Sarah to dress her up and then for me to take these photos.

What a wonderful little dog she is?

Sunny morning

This morning I woke to a golden shadow on my curtains, yes it was the sun trying valiantly to peek through the clouds. 
I opened my window to see clouds and a small golden ball.
It has managed to stay dry enough to mow, get some washing done - Yippee!!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What an Honour!

I am so excited!

I have just received a letter from my university and the School of English.

My lecturer has recommended me for the Honours programme when I complete my BA (in a few years time).  The best lines are the following:

"Dr HE has discussed with me your exceptional results this year. We wonder whether, as one of our best students, you have considered an honours year in the School of English, Media Studies, and Art History once you have completed your BA.

Warm congratulations from me, and from Dr Hilary Emmett, on your fine work. I do look forward to hearing from you."

Wow and how about that - I am thrilled.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Puppy Love

Our 'old lady' Abby - 6 years old; is so tolerant of 6 month old Bella. This afternoon, Bella decided that sleeping in Abby's basket was the best place to be.

They look so lovely together.


I woke up at 4.45am and wondered why it was so bright - then I realised that it was the sun.

After 2 weeks of rain and cloud; the sun is making a weak, brief appearance and it feels wonderful.

We are expecting another week at least of rain and more floods for inland towns - it is either drought or flood in this country.

Still for now I am enjoying the sunshine, although it is showing up all the dust on my computer screen - oops.

Wishing you all a happy day.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Inspirational Friends

I love this technology.

Through this Blog I have made an amazing new friend (well I met her over a year ago now), who inspires me with her life. Her commitment to posting a photo a day has been unbelievable. She is so upbeat and positive and if I am feeling a little low; I know that a quick visit to her site will inspire me.

Her name is Darlene and you can find a link to her site in the list of blogs that I follow - it is called "My life for a year".

Now Darlene and I have never met, she lives on the other side of the world in Canada; but sharing in her ups and downs, joys and sadness has given me so much pleasure over the last 12 months or so.

Darlene is one of the most giving friends that I could ever hope to have; she always posts a comment when I write something. She is always one of the first to send me a congratulations on one of my achievements and one day - more than anything I hope to meet her in person.

If you would like to live the day in the life of an inspirational person; I highly recommend that you sign up to reading her blog on a daily basis.

Thank you Darlene for sharing your life with us all.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Decorating & Baking

Christmas Decorating

Christmas Baking

Yummy food and a beautiful home

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas is coming

December 1st in Australia

Of course our Christmas Decorations are all up and this year we have gone all out - photos to follow!

We also did our Christmas baking yesterday - 12 dozen Christmas mince pies and 14 dozen savoury Curry mince pies. I am not getting on the scale until December 30th - I ate so much already yesterday and even for breakfast this morning. Yum!

Mum, made me a double batch of shortbread - another Yum!

Only 24 days - how exciting - my shopping is finished - thank goodness - now the wrapping to tackle.

Our other exciting news is that we are booked into Disneyland Paradise Pier Hotel for 8 nights to celebrate Elizabeth's 21st birthday next year. Our 2 week vacation in California is now all booked and we can start planning daily acitivities.

Book editing has started, it will be a little slow; sorry guys - but Christmas preparations and fun come first now.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

End of November

November is always the busiest month in my year and this year has been no exception.
I once more had visitors - this time our lovely friends Julie & Chevy; my university exam was in November and I wrote my 50 000 word novel.
Yes, I did it - Book Two of my trilogy is complete - well it still needs editing, but a full draft is finished. I have renamed the series - it is now called The Guild Chronicles:
Book One - written last year is 'The Creators'
Book Two - written this year is 'The Destructors'
and Book Three still to be written is called The . . . . '
You will have to wait and see :)
My university results were also great - I got a distinction for my American Literature course, so am thrilled. Next year I am studying Gothic Literature and hopefully also Jane Austen depending on the time-table.
Thank you to my friends and family who have supported me throughout the month of writing - it is addictive, time consuming, wonderful and exciting.
Now I need to edit and publish them both. 2011 is going to be my year - I am hoping to have them published and available to order through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other sites. So hang in there. Keep reminding me to edit and get going with this project.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the USA. We have so much to be thankful for.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Word Update

Middle of the month and not quite at the middle of my target.

I have however, reached 20 173 words - that is really great considering I did not writing between the 4th & the 11th of November. Also in just 4 days I have written 7616 words so I am on track to be able to finish.

I need just under 2000 words per day - a little more than I am writing at present, but feel as though I can achieve this.

I am up to Chapter 16 and feel that the characters are developing nicely. At times the plot feels a little slow, but will fix that up in the editing in December. I also think it might be because I have been haphazard in my writing.

The interesting part is that this year I feel more pressured, I now have a readership who want a finished product and also they have a standar - Book One - for me to live up to. Wow, who can believe it, but here I am discussing my second book. 2011, I will certainly try and Edit both books properly and hopefully get book three written, although it may have to wait until nanowrimo 2011. There is nothing like a deadline to force one to work at writing.

Sorry about the lack of postings etc on Vesta - exams, visitors and writing and just hectic, busy, family life have got in the way.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Writing has started

Nearly 11 000 words so far and 9 chapters. It is such a wonderful feeling to be in control of something in life. In this case it is my 'Creators' World and all the characters. Unlike reality where I am at the whim of everything around me, with my writing I can control it all. Well that is until the characters take on a life of their own and dominate their story.

I am also in the process of writing up study notes for my exam next week - boring - can't wait for it to be finished, so that I can get back to my writing.

Will keep you all updated.

Monday, October 25, 2010

NaNoWriMo is just 6 days away!


This year my determination to write Book 2 of The Creators has inspired a landslide of fellow writers.

Sarah (my 12 year old daughter) has decided to join the Young Writer's Program and write an 8000 word novel about Vermaids - Vampire Mermaids. It sounds so exciting.

Elizabeth (my 20 year old daughter) has decided to join NaNoWriMo and write a 50 000 word screenplay called - Late Night Shopping

and Michelle my best friend has decided to write the first of her six books that are rattling around in her head.

Michelle has also set up a challenge group and attracted people from all walks of life to attempt something for 30 days, so we have all sorts of challenges.

It is exciting!

Will keep you updated.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Joy is in the Swing

Elizabeth took Mom shopping yesterday morning and then picked up Dad for a drive down to the river to see the flood after all the recent rain.
She then ran to the swings and let go, all the joy of being young and free is visible in these photos.

Elizabeth you are beautiful!

(Mom, thanks for the photos)

Friday, October 8, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010

Here is a huge announcement for November 2010

I am writing Book Two of 'The Creators' this November.

Not only that but Sarah will be joining me in an endeavour to write her novel 'Vermaids', she will attempt to write 8 000 as part of the Young Writer's Programme.

Elizabeth will also be signing up in the next few days, so our household is going to be filled with 'artistic madness' in the month of November.

Wish us all luck, as our fingers fly across the keyboards and the words flow.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It is all finished!

Sixteen and a half years ago, my beautiful son was born and we began a series of appointments together. Matthew was born with a cleft lip and palate and as such we started attending the cleft clinic at the Royal Children's hospital.

Every six months for the past 16 years, we have spent a day together attending appointments with the ENT specialist; the Speech pathologist; the audiologist, the surgical team and of course our regular 6 weekly appointments with the orthodontists.
Today it was another of those appointments - but the wonderful news is that is was the LAST ONE!
Matthew no longer needs to see the Cleft Clinic Team! He still requires a few years of orthdontics, but the Speech clinic; the ENT and the surgical team have all signed off on his treatment. No more is required!!!!!

We shared the joy of ripping up the last appointment form, no more hours waiting on hard chairs, no more early morning drives, no more exhausting tests, questions and most importantly it appearts 99% likely that he will require no more surgery.
Well done Matthew - you have been wonderful. So patient, well -behaved, patient and grateful.
Thank you to the special teams of doctors who have overseen Matthew's progress - these are the true Angels in this world.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bella had a haircut

Bella was looking rather untidy as her puppy hair began to grow, so we took her to the groomers for a clip, now she is clean and cute again.

Her colouring is lovely, not quite the All-white of the Maltese, but lots of caramel from the Cavalier.
She is still the best thing we could ever have done for our family. She is loved by all.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Apologies to Vesta Followers

To all Vesta followers my apologies for neglecting you so badly. Life has been hectic and I have also started another Blog to cater to my more Spiritual/Thoughtful Writings - it is called VestaLife and you are all welcome to come along for a journey of thought provactive posts.

I will continue to maintain Vesta with family news, photos and posts (apologies if they are not as frequent.

Anyway todays post is titled: SATURDAY CHORES
I have discovered the JOY of having 2 teenage children (although Sarah is still 12). They are both capable and willing to help around the house and garden when given specific tasks. Sarah loves driving the ride-on-mower and Matt is now strong enough to deal with the hand mower.
With Ivan away at the moment this help is invaluable.
Thanks Kids

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Weekend away in Sydney

World famous Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.

My lovely friend Michelle and I, met up for a weekend of Inspiration at the "I can do It!" conference in Sydney.

My arms weren't quite long enough for a great photo, but here we are enjoying our Friday afternoon doing the tourist thing in Sydney. We had a harbour cruise, a ride on a mini-train around Darling harbour, took a trip on the mono-rail and rode the Ferris Wheel (more photos to come).

It was great to be away from home and responsibilites and just relax together.

Thanks Michelle!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Puppy School Star

Sarah and Bella graduated from Puppy School last night. We had a wonderful 4 week course and they both learnt such a lot. It was great fun and gave Sarah a chance to interact with other dog owners, both adult and her peers. She was amazing.

For the final night, there was a prize for the best trick, well Sarah taught Bella to do 3 tricks. The first to 'nod' when she asked her if she liked puppy school. The second to 'drop and roll over' and her finale was to jump over a pole. Now those little legs, didn't allow her to jump very high, but she was wonderful.

Every puppy then got a chance to wear the graduation hat and have their photo taken, so here is Bella - STAR PUPPY!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Happy 72nd Birthday Dad

Sunday was Dad's birthday. We had such a lovely roast dinner down with Mom and Dad and I had the chance to have this lovely photo taken with my Dad.
It hit me for the first time ever, that he is 72 - he is so strong, healthy, active and well, that I never think of him aging. Still we are both getting older and it was lovely to share this wonderful meal together.
Dad, I know you plan to celebrate at least your 140th birthday, so I guess we will have a lot more of these photos together.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Flower Power Puppy

Sarah has completely fallen in love with her puppy. Bella is happy to run around with her in the garden and then fall asleep on her lap.

Today Sarah discovered the JOY and FUN of playing dress-up with Bella. The daisies are in full bloom and Sarah decided to decorate Bella, who patiently sat and had her hair dressed in flowers.

Sarah's grin and Bella's patient look says it all!

Friday, July 30, 2010

24/7 - 365 days per year

"By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class."
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906-2001) American writer and aviator.

One of the most difficult things about being a housewife and mother (otherwise known as a 'Stay-at-home-Mum) is that there appears to be a perception that staying at home is the same as 'having a day off work' - except that it happens every day.

Now I have been a 'Stay-at-home-Mum' for nearly 22 years and I wouldn't swop it for the world. I just wish sometimes that I could get paid for it and have 2 days off per week, like everyone else.

The joys have been seeing my children through every moment good and bad, even to being able to take the time right now to 'home-school' Sarah through her difficult patch. I have loved the social aspects of Mother's groups, Kindy groups and yes I do have some 'ME' time during the day . . .

But . . . from the moment I wake up in the morning and get up to feed the dog, the puppy, make the breakfast, the lunches, do the dishes, the washing, the cleaning, the school drop off, the accounts, the appointments, the food, the school pick-up, the homework, the dishes, the tidying up, the counselling, the tidying up, the prayers, the goodnights and falling into bed each night - I am on duty.

My job is 24/7 - 365 days per year . . . and funny I feel as though I am the most blessed person in the world. I wouldn't swop my job for anyone else's. I love what I do.

Could someone just pay me something for it - other than just a compliment???

Or maybe, they already do - and the financial reward is not what is important. Rather it is the happy, successful, joyful family that I have and the time that I have to write this post.

So to all Mothers and Housewives I say - congratulations - you are the best workers in the world.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Back to my studies!

Semester 2 of university has started.

I am only doing one course this semester, as I am home-schooling Sarah for term 3 and this is going to take up a lot of my time and attention. I don't want to short change her, but I also don't want to give up completely on my studies.

So I have signed up for American Literature and had my first seminar today. Dr Hilary Emmett is my lecturer and is FANTASTIC! She is so knowledgeable and interesting and we have a good size group at 22 students. The seminar will be conducted with 30 mins of background lecturing and then discussion time.

We are covering some amazing material from Walt Whitman, Hawthorne, Emmerson and Thoreau to Poe, Melville and Henry James. We then move into the 20th Century and look at Faulkner, Ginsberg and McCarthy. The reading list is extensive and I am going to experience a variety of genres and styles.

I just can't wait!

So look out for some reading recommendations and wish me luck, as I will have a 2000 word essay to write, 5 x 200 word online discussion posts and a final exam worth 50%, which will be the most difficult for me - as 'remembering' stuff is not my strongest skill.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Something to think about

"If you think you can you can. And, if you think you can't, you're right."
Mary Kay Ashe

This is very similar to a saying that I grew up with and it is:

"There is no such word as 'Can't' it is actually 'Can try' - I guess in life if we decide to do something before we even try it, we will at least have a chance at success, but if we decide we can't before we even try, then we are certainly going to fail.

Something to think about.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Yesterday we had visitors to the garden for a feed. First of all our new family of Kookaburra's arrived. There are five of them, older juveniles as well as this very cute little one. The older siblings stay with the family for a year to help feed the younger ones.
So out I came with the leftover Roast Beef and it was devoured.

Then our local Magpie arrived along with 3 Butcherbirds to join in the meat buffet.

Of course the Rainbow Lorikeets and Scaly-breasted Lorikeets saw me out there with the meat and started calling, so I filled the seed trays and gave them some bread and sugar water. Soon we had about 60 birds calling and feeding.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Digital scrapbooking

Today I have had all four of my family members in bed sick with the flu. I have had the day doing washing, tidying up, looking after the puppy and cooking dinner, dishes etc.

However, tonight I have had an hour to spend scrapbooking and have achieved a huge amount. I finished up my April-July album and sent it off for printing and have also completed 5 pages in the July album, so I am truly getting up to date.

The highlight of my day was watching Bella and Abby play together for an hour. Bella is cheeky but submissive to Abby and Abby is remarkably gentle with the puppy. The funniest was watching Bella sneak around the back of Abby and grab her tail, then Abby would pound away and back.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


"There comes a time when suddenly you realize that laughter is something you remember and that you were the one laughing." - Marlene Dietrich (1901 -1992)

My Circle of Women calendar had this great quote this morning and made me realise how quickly we can 'grow-up', become serious and forget to laugh. I love laughter, I love the feeling of breathlessness and bubbles that start in your throat and then move to your belly.

Don't let laughter be a memory, make it a gift to yourself every single day. Read a funny joke, watch a comedy and most importantly laugh with family and friends.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New hobby

I have been tempted to make cards for years, but with all the other things that I do, I have resisted for as long as possible.
Finally, I have succumbed, these are three that I made tonight as part of our 'Creative Challenge' week.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Bookcase update

Way back in early June I posted some photos of our new study bookcases. It took me a little while to sort out what I wanted on them and although they are still a bit disorganised, I am managing to use them for all the things I want.

The four bottom shelves are filled with my completed Creative Memories albums as are rows 2 and 3 on the right hand side. The shelves above of these are empty albums awaiting completed pages.
Thank you Dad, they are beautiful.