Sunday, February 27, 2011

The power of the decision

I have discovered that when I make a decision, I make things happen.

On Friday my Dad came up to discuss our future renovations - we are planning a few. One of them is put a door between the 'entrance hall & lounge', and the family room. Many nights Ivan & I look forward to sitting chatting with a glass of wine and some music and the children are watching TV in the family room - no peace or privacy.

Our discussions centred on getting a new door & building a frame - we decided to drive to the local door supplier & before Dad knew what hit him, I had purchased a bi-fold door, frame etc. So we began.

Matthew holding one of my new doors. It has a rose on it to match my front door.

The Before shot

The inbetween shot - This looks a mess with the header piece & half the wallpaper gone. What have I done?

Getting it off

The after shots

A clear wall that now needs painting

Today I took the project to a new height - when we moved into our house just over 6 years ago, I vowed to replace the wallpaper (I am a paint girl, not a wallpaper one). Although it was striking there was just too much of it.

I had no idea how to remove the wallpaper and the first wall took me hours, until I thought about wetting it down with water first, it then peeled off as easy as anything; and I was able to wash the glue off most of the walls.

It has brightened up my whole entrance hall - now just need to tackle the rest of the house. One room & wall at a time.

Tomorrw Dad and I will work on erecting the rest of the frame and hopefully hanging the doors. How exciting these changes are.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tropical Gardening

Living in a tropical climate has many benefits & a few disadvantages. Our recent rains were one of the disadvantages.

Now gardening is wonderful in that we have a very, very long growing season - in fact almost all year. This is great except that everything grows very fast - sort of tropical :)

Creeping Creeper

Not much space on the steps

Without constant maintenance, very soon plants take over - even the house & living areas.

Last weekend I had trimmed the driveway (sorry no photos - will take some later) - we could hardly get the cars in and this morning I decided to tackle the patio. Five hours and a lot of trimming later - here is the end result.

Neat & tidy

No more suckers draining the life from the Tree Fern

We have a swimming pool down there - what a surprise.

Now I am really tired - rest of the afternoon I think I will take it easy.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Writing Again

1251 words of 'The Creators - Book 3'

I was told this afternoon that it is time for me to begin writing again because that is what I am - a Writer!

And it hit me that this is what I am. And to be a writer I need to write. I will never have the time to just sit and write. There will always be ironing, cleaning, cooking, shopping, studying, teaching, loving and everything else in my way. So if I want to be a writer, I am going to have to make the time to write.

As I sit and write this blog post my beautiful daughter Sarah is sitting at the piano playing her own compositions and it is inspiring - Just an aside.

Writing is my own inspiration. I love the feeling as the words begin to flow. I did not know how or where to pick up the words of chapter two - book three. It has been weeks since I last wrote and I felt as though I had lost the flow of the whole thing; yet within moments the characters were alive again and the story came to life.

So following the advice of my fellow writer Michelle, I am writing again. I am hoping/planning/wishing/hoping to try and write a chapter each day. Wish me luck!

A Gift for all the Senses

My Birthday gift from my best friend Michelle

 This photos tells the whole story about my beautiful friend Michelle. You do not need to see the gift inside to know that she is one of the most thoughtful & creative 'gift-givers' I have ever met.

I opened the postage box and was assaulted by the most amazing delicious scent - inside the first parcel was a Sweet Pea & Jasmine candle & in the second a book of inspirational quotes.

Michelle has taken the time to find things that will inspire me and to wrap them so beautifully with paper & ribbon. This is how to present a gift.

I couldn't even open these beautiful gifts without first taking a photo to share with you all.

Thank you my friend, I love my birthday presents.

Tuesday morning

Energy - what is it and where does it come from and more importantly where does it go to?

I never seem to have enough of it and yet when I look at what I achieve in a day - I realise that I have a big bucket hidden inside my 'little body.'

I think that energy is 80% determination - determination to achieve something and not giving yourself a choice but to do it.

My Dad found a book that he gave me, it is for 'Busy Women' - Elizabeth is reading it at the moment, but she found something in it that she shared. For perfectionists - achieving 80% in a day is acceptable. It has helped me so much in my perception of my day. I used to always think that I had not achieved my goals for a day, now I am able to set a high target and then when I tick off 80% I realise that this is an "A" and is quite acceptable.

So 'energy' what is it?  For me it is just getting as much as I can done and then doing that little bit more. At times I choose to just shut down & recharge - a 20 minute 'Nana Nap' midday is always a good choice, but otherwise it is just to keep going.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday - day of rest

I guess it was restful - no it wasn't; although I did have a lie-in this morning waking at 9am. 

First up Sarah, Elizabeth, Mum & I went shopping - I printed off the holiday photos and spent some serious money at the Harvey Norman sale. Including buying Matthew a portable air-conditioner for his room. It is the hottest room in the house and as a 17 year old, he is just struggling to sleep.

I then picked up Matthew & Sarah's friends, and spent the afternoon working with Elizabeth. First up she helped me with my Itunes & Ipod & then I helped her with her paperwork and installed her new photo & video editing software. A very productive day.

It is now time to get to sleep - a busy day tomorrow. Just 4 goals on my list: Do my accounts, vacuum house, ironing & tidy up the study.

Hope you all have a fantastic week.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Achieving Goals

I have been home now for 4 days - it feels a lot longer and a lot shorter.  In that time I have done 8 loads of washing, dried & put most of it away - although have a pile of ironing for tomorrow. I have also unpacked 7 cases, put everything away in its place got back into a routine of life.

Most importantly I have edited over 800 photos from our trip and completed 66 digital pages of our Disneyland album.  I love scrapbooking, since I discovered it in 2000, I have been hooked. When digital scrapbooking came on the scene I really wasn't even interested in trying it out. Then I gave it a go - and I LOVE IT!

I love the ability to switch on my computer and do just a page without the mess, I love the creativity of pulling together different pages and styles and using the pre-made or my own designs. Most of all I love the speed at which I can get my photos into albums and ready to share with family & friends.

This morning however, I decided that my house & garden were also calling, so after lunch, I dragged out the ride-on mower and did the grass, then I tackled the driveway with the hedge trimmer. We can now fit the cars in easily. Matt came out, did some hand mowing for me and picked up all my trimmings. I also used Roundup on all the weeds that have grown in the pavings. The rain has been wonderful for the garden, but boy does it need some work.

So finally at 5.48pm, I have showered and am about to get a few things ready for a visit from our lovely friends, Rosemary, Olivia & Isobel.

Life is good and I have realised that when I set my mind to something I achieve miracles - I guess that is what I call succeeding.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Universal rides

At the top of the drop - cool kid Matthew

Ivan & I got to ride together - It was still scary

First Mummy ride

Cool Dudes after a couple of turns
Universal Studios was really interesting, especially the Studio Tour. There weren't many rides and Sarah with her fear of rollercoasters didn't really benefit from it all. I was determined to at least do the Jurassic Park ride. After having been so sick with food poisoning in Disneyland I was a bit wary of doing rollercoasters, but gave it a go - it was great fun, really lovely until the final drop. Which just scared the life out of me.

Matt persuaded Ivan to do the Mummy Ride with him, there first ride was terrifying - the photo above, was staged by them both, but Matt reckons that is how they looked. Even he commented it was scary - so it is one I chose not to do. Of course a few rides were needed - Ivan bravely took on the task of going with Matt - great Father/Son bonding :)

Disneyland Thrill Rides

Elizabeth & Matthew calm - Me Terrified!

The first time on the ride - poor Ivan alone in the back.

Too fast & too scared to even scream

Coming out of the loop & down the hill - so fast

These were the official photos taken on the rides - what an experience. Matthew loves them all, the rest of us enjoy them, but enough is enough - he could ride them all day long.

It took me 35 years

California Screamin

Adrenalin Junkies

Big Thunder Railroad

Doing the loop
 At age 35 I finally conquered my fear of rollercoasters - I rode the tiny (children's rollercoaster) at Movieworld on the Gold Coast and screamed the whole way around. The children were so embarrassed! Since then I have ventured more boldly along the line to bigger and more scary rides.

Each & every time I have to fight my fear and right up until I get off it am terrified. Yet, I have learnt the most valuable lesson, life is to be lived! Rollercoasters are not for everyone - I know that, but for me they release all my fears, feed my soul and set me free.

I still scream on everyone, but now I step out boldly and enjoy the ride.

My favourite ride of all wasn't Space Mountain, which was fast and wild; California Screamin which was mind-blowing and disorientating, but Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - it was the smoothest rollercoaster I have ever been on. In fact I loved it so much that in the end I wasn't even screaming. I was just experiencing the exhiliration. I had my hands in the air and felt alive.

More photos to follow, even some scary rollercoaster pics.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Disneyland photos

Mickey & the girls

Alice in Wonderland - Ivan's favourite book

A blushing Ivan after Minnie kissed him

I also got a hug

At breakfast with Minnie

Our 13 hour flight from Australia was wonderful; the plane was really empty so we had 3 seats between 2 of us. Sarah & Elizabeth sat together as did Matt & I. We all got some sleep, Elizabeth the most with at least 8 hours. Once we arrived at the hotel, we decided on breakfast at Paradise Pier, it was expensive and not something we repeated but looking at the photos above it was worth it.

We didn't go to Disneyland on the first day, but explored Downtown Disney. We did indulge in a sleep to get over the jetlag and enjoyed a little shopping.  Our first full day in Disneyland was the Tuesday and it was wonderful. We took the opportunity to get a couple of quick photos before heading off to the rides.

More photos and news to follow.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

We are home!

The most magical place on Earth.
We had the most wonderful two weeks away as a family. I have almost 1000 photos to edit, and there are some amazing pictures to remind us of our holiday.

I will get some onto Vesta and Facebook as soon as possible; also I have kept a detailed journal, so that is going to be great.