1000 posts: So much to say, so little time!

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This is my 1000th post!

It has taken me a seven years to get here. It has become part of my day-to-day life. I don’t write all that often now but love to read other bloggers’ adventures and do the Photo Challenge most weeks.

On 8 May I will be leading (as a volunteer) a University of the Third Age class of eight people (seniors) in Blogging for Beginners. I hope to be able to share in eight hours (two hours a week for four weeks) what I have found out over the past seven years.

I have done my homework on the technical side but the actual writing side of things is not so straightforward. I have meandered over a wide range of topics over that time. I guess my blog is really about my  life, thoughts, ideas etc. I have got more into including photos in the past year or so. I love doing that but wonder if I am a bit lazy with the writing!

I would really value any ideas or tips you have for new bloggers that I can pass on to those in my group. Thanks in anticipation 🙂

Easy Assembly (Part Two)

Well I completed one of the two bedside tables today! I wouldn’t say it was easy though. Lots of little challenges that caused me to sit and stare at the instructions for minutes at a time!

It was good to do something with my  hands and to do something that needed attention to detail. I am usually  a “big picture” person and like others to look after the detail so this project was good for me for that reason. Only one more to go! It is not perfect but I would give myself about 7 out of 10 :)!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Security

We stayed at this beachside cottage some time ago. It was possible to secure the front and back doors but they didn’t tell us that the only loo was outside and not secure!

For more information about the Weekly Photo Challenge click HERE

‘Easy Assembly’ (Part One)

Being keen for a bargain, I did some online shopping and ordered two bedside tables – to be assembled by me! I have never done anything more than Lego in the past (and I wasn’t too flash at that) so this is a real learning experience. I am tackling one cupboard at a time – naturally! It took a good part of this afternoon to get two drawers assembled.

Stay tuned for the finished product!  🙂

Having fun with microscopes :)

My son Joel bought me a microscope a few years ago. I indicated I would like one as I had one as a child and found it fascinating. It gave me an interest in science and what things are made of.

Called SuperEyes, it can be purchased on Amazon or Ebay and ranges between around $10A to around $200A. It plugs into my computer via a USB.

It is easy to use although the (free) software is a bit temperamental – just need to be patient and persevere with it :). The results are worth it.The item on the base of the microscope (a succulent from my garden)  is photographed and saved to my computer.

I set up another blog called It’s a Small World . You may like to check it out!

Weekly Photo Challenge: It is easy being green!

There is SO MUCH green in our world! I have included some photos taken with my SuperEyes microscope. These include kiwi fruit, silverbeet, parsley, broccoli and thyme (in flower).The final one is a frog in my vegetable garden.  🙂

For more information about the Photo Challenge click HERE

Weekly Photo Challenge: Atop

For more information about the Weekly Photo Challenge click HERE

The photos below include an open-cut mine in Gwalia, West Australia, the Bristol Suspension Bridge in Bristol UK, Mt Whaleback in Newman, Western Australia and my son during his trek along the Appalachian Trail in the US. I didn’t take the US photo or the Mt Whaleback one!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wish

I wish for a good outcome (one that benefits most people)  for this Saturday’s State Election in Western Australia.

The photo below is one I took of a group of State and Federal politicians when I worked for the North West Telegraph in the Pilbara in the 1990’s. Can any West Aussies remember these faces? I think they are all retired now :).

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For more information about the Weekly Photo Challenge click HERE

Random thoughts on Real Estate Writing :)

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I recently resigned from my part-time job as a Real Estate Writer with our local community newspaper. Each week I would visit three properties and write an article on each one. I also edited about a dozen small articles written by the real estate sales reps.

Real estate writing has a bad reputation however it isn’t that difficult to write up an honest description of a property with a focus on its positive attributes. Below I will include a copy of a PDF document of words I put together for reference when I was stuck.

Here are few random thoughts from my nearly three years doing the job

  • There is no need to say HUGE 2ha block of land. It is either 2ha or it isn’t!
  • Houses don’t BOAST! They may have a delightful kitchen but they don’t BOAST about it!
  • It is important to vary the first word in each sentence. It is so easy (when under deadline) to find that just about every sentence starts with ‘The’ or ‘It’.
  • Use Word’s thesaurus. It can really ruin an article if every item is described as ‘stylish’ when there are so many other options available.
  • It was useful to read other publications to expand my vocabulary. New words for me included “chic, bespoke, sleek, splashback, pendant lights, skillion roof …”
  • After a some time in the job it took a lot to wow me. A three or four bedroom home could range from around $300,000 to $2million plus. They were still functionally much the same!
  • Some sales representatives attempted humour in their writing – I wouldn’t recommend it unless you are a professional comedian – even then it is questionable!
  • I did a quick (extra) edit to ensure that every sentence ended in a full stop. I used to cut and paste so much it was easy to misplace a full stop.

Here is my handy Real Estate Words List

 

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

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There is so much pressure for us to get involved in stuff. I find it all the time. I think it is about time I accepted that I like my life the way it is!

I am surrounded by people who are always off on holidays. Normal conversation involves talking about where you have been and where you are going next. I feel a bit inadequate not being able to contribute.

I am not into sport either – or the theatre. I am happy to stay home and watch some good programs on Netflix, read good novels and the like.

Perhaps it is in part due to be an introvert. I can spend hours researching obscure topics of interest.

So I think in future I will remind myself it is okay to have a small life – as long as I am happy with it the way it is. No problem with other people having busy lives if that is what makes them happy!

 

Life’s surprises are not always welcome

As I look back over my life there are probably a dozen incidents or more that were a significant blow to my equilibrium. The sort that makes everything else seem petty and unimportant.

I am sure that we all experience these things from time to time. My first experience I remember was when my school friend’s father died. He worked at our school and was very popular with all the kids. It was my first encounter with death and the aftermath.

I have since experienced marriage break-ups, sickness and deaths in the family, tragedies such as a five-year old neighbour’s child drowning, losing my brother and sister-in-law too soon …

I am not unique – similar things are happening every day to people around us. When I am in my ‘happy space’ I may not even be aware of others’ suffering.

I don’t know what I am trying to say today – just that life can be tough at times – we need to love and care for each other.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: The Road (not) Taken

Many years ago (too many to mention) we lived in a remote Indigenous community called Numbulwar in the Northern Territory of Australia. The main means of transport were by sea or air with only a few brave ones taking a four-wheel drive vehicle into the remote sandy tracks into the bush.

For more information about the Photo Challenge click here

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Against the Odds

My Uncle Roy had a life-long interest in steam engines. He is photographed here in his early 90’s getting this particular steam engine running. He belonged to a group called the Border FlyWheelers in Barham, NSW and he was by far the oldest member. However, he was the ONLY member that had his “boiler ticket” that allowed him alone to operate the machinery. I don’t know how they manage since he passed away in 2010. An inspiration and mentor to me in many ways.

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For more information about the Weekly Photo Challenge click HERE

Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitude

I find solitude in remote parts of our beautiful and diverse country.

For more information about the photo challenge click HERE

Weekly Photo Challenge: Repurpose

This is a mega example of repurposing!

Check out the link to Wikipedia about  the Melbourne Central Shopping Centre

“Contained underneath the shopping centre’s massive glass cone sits the  Coop’s Shot Tower which was built on the site in 1888. After last being used in 1961, the tower was retained to become a focal-point of the centre, R.M. Williams and the Shot Tower Museum now take up the inside of it.”

For more info about the Weekly Photo Challenge  click HERE

 

Melbourne shopping mall

shot tower in Melbourne Central Shopping Centre

 

Daily Post: Shine

When I saw the topic for the Daily Post today I immediately thought of this song that I love. Have a listen and it might just bring some sunshine into your day  🙂 (it did to mine).

Ten good reasons to start a blog

IMG_2057I have agreed to share the knowledge I have gained over six years blogging with some fellow community members through our local group of the University of the Third Age (U3A). It is not a paid position but a sharing with like-minded people. It doesn’t commence until May so I have some time to fine tune the content.

I started thinking about the many reasons to start a blog and thought I would share a few of mine here. Please feel free to comment and add other reasons I may have missed.

  1. Learning about using WordPress (and keeping up with the changes) keeps my brain active.
  2. I have met so many amazing people from all parts of the world and been able to enjoy their photos, weather reports, local happenings, different cultures/styles of architecture and more. It really adds to my knowledge of the world and reminds me of how much we all have in common.
  3. The joy of getting a “like” or even better a “comment”. It always brightens my day.
  4. The opportunity to put some positive words out into cyberspace and hope that I am able to add a little joy to someone else’s day.
  5. I sometimes have ideas that I want to share and it provides me an avenue to do so and get feedback from others.
  6. My interest in photography has grown since I started blogging. I have discovered it is one of those things I can lose myself in it – time flies by!
  7. The diversity of blogs provide such a vast resource of valuable information- I take down recipes from other parts of the world and try them out at home – great fun. There is also lots of wisdom out there!
  8. When I got my current part-time job I was able to provide my blog address to the editor so she could see that I can put a few sentences together.
  9. It is MY voice I am putting out there. I know at times that some people may not like what I post but I reserve the right to have my say.Being an introvert I find it harder to express myself in person than I do in writing.
  10. I feel a real connection with a number of bloggers that I have followed for some time. I know that if I was in their neighbourhood I would love to drop in for a coffee and a good long chat.  🙂

There are probably a lot more reasons to blog and I would love to hear from you what you think.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Resilient

My three sons had it tough at times with me being a sole-parent but they are resilient and have grown up to be fine men that I am very proud of in every way.

 

 

For more information about the Weekly Photo Challenge click here

Some more Notable Quotes …

With a Seasonal focus

A Christmas Wish – 

May you never forget

What is worth remembering

Or remember 

What is best forgotten.

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Eat, drink and be merry

For tomorrow ye diet. Willma Gilmore Beymer

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Here’s wishing you the kind of troubles that last as long as your New Year resolutions! 

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In the year ahead, may we treat our friends with kindness and our enemies with generosity.

Quotes are from Notable Quotes, World Book Encyclopedia, Inc.

 

More Notable Quotes

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I hope you enjoy these quotes from Notable Quotes published by World Book Encyclopedia , Inc.

Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone may be looking. H.L. Mencken

Your conscience is what your mother told you before you were six years old. Dr.G. Brock Chisholm

Courage is fear that has said its prayers. Karle Baker

Men learn while they teach. Seneca

In a full heart there is room for everything, and in an empty heart there is room for nothing. Antonio Porchia

To live anywhere in the world today and be against equality because of race or colour, is like living in Alaska and being against snow. William Faulkner

None of us can stand other people having the same faults as ourselves. Oscar Wilde

 

 

 

 

What is the opposite of depression?*

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*According to writer, Andrew Solomon, it is vitality! That makes a lot of sense to me.

I listened to his talk on the video below and could relate to much of what he said. I had my first encounter with depression when I was in my 20’s and have experienced it on and off over the years. I have used a variety of methods to help me feel and do better.

Solomon raises the issue of “psychological vs physiological” and proclaims that we don’t have enough scientific evidence to choose either one. Maybe in time there will be a better answer.

Most of the time my depression is not noticeable to other people. I function quite well. I remember learning about “putting one foot in front of the other” and another tip was “just keep breathing” – these sayings were helpful at times.

Anyway, I won’t go on about depression apart from asking you to be aware among your family and friends and be brave enough to ask them if they are okay and be prepared to listen to their response. Thanks 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: (New) Horizon

I cannot see any NEW horizons at present but here is a selection of past places I have lived in or visited.

 

Book of Notable Quotes

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A friend passed on some books to me this week. Included among them was one titled Noted Quotables published by World Book Encyclopedia, Inc.(1986). It is a selection of famous quotes compiled by Jerry Reedy organised by themes. I know we can find any number of quotes on the internet but sometimes it is good to hold a book in my hands!

Here are some examples:

Theme – Ability “Everyone must row with the oars he has.” (English proverb)

Theme – Adversity “Prosperity getteth friends, but adversity trieth them.” (Nicholas Ling)

Theme – Anger “The world needs anger. The world often continues to allow evil because it isn’t angry enough.” (Bede Jarrett)

Theme: Bravery “Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death.” (Gen. Omar Nelson Bradley)

There are lots more and I may just include some more in a later post :)!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Relax

I was very tempted to post a beach scene but I resisted. This photo of my three sons was taken quite a few years ago when we lived in Geraldton, Western Australia.

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Anyone can boil an egg, right?

I always thought boiling eggs was easy. Put them in a pot and boil them! But what if someone wants SOFT boiled eggs? I couldn’t crack it! They were always too hard. I remembered that when I was younger I used to have an egg timer to time my eggs. I wonder if they still make them.

Anyway, my husband had a better idea and this is how we do it now …

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Tiny

I have chosen my tiniest teddy bear for this week’s photo challenge. There used to be a place called “It’s a Small World” in Perth, Western Australia where there was large range of, well, small things! That is where I got my teddy from :).

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Chaos

For this week’s challenge I have chosen a succulent plant from my garden. When first purchased from the nursery it seemed to fall apart into dozens of pieces during the car journey home. I thought I had ruined it but it prevailed and keeps growing (and falling apart) on a regular basis!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Transmogrify

Transmogrify – change form grotesquely or to change the appearance or form of something, especially in a grotesque or bizarre way.

I think that the horseradish and onion were in the process of transmogrification!

Fun new app

Recently I saw a post by a fellow blogger (sorry that I can’t remember your name) but they highlighted a new app called waterlogue that automatically converts photos into watercolour style images. I am trialling a copy of it at present and having fun with it. Here is an example of what it can do :).

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Preset Style = Vibrant
Output Size = Medium
Lightness = Normal

The software is a bit flaky (or it could be me!) and I am learning through trial and error.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Local

What can be more LOCAL than our local paper with the real estate lift-out?

Well, technically we have two local papers but this one is the better of the two (no bias of course!)

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Weekly Photo Challenge: H2O

My selection for this week’s photo challenge demonstrates what can happen if we get too much H2O. These photos were taken some time ago at Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

 

A bit nutty

You may not recognise the images below at first glance. I took the photos with my Supereyes microscope – it is great fun but I hadn’t used it for a while. I have another site at http://www.smallcreativity.wordpress.com if you would like to see some more images.

The photos are of a brazil nut, walnut and almond (in their shells).

Weekly Photo Challenge: Quest

Quest to find a missing bear! He was last seen on my desk around six months ago. I have searched everywhere and can’t find him. He was a gift from my mother so I would love to find him again.

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Here are some of his former companions … I am not sure if they were implicated in his disappearance!

 

Welcome to Cowtown

We went to Cowaramup for coffee and cake this morning. I have been wanting to photograph some of the 42 life size fiberglass cow sculptures around the town. According to Wikipedia, in July 2014, the town set a Guinness World Record for the largest group of people – 1,352 – dressed as cows. Mmmm …

More from Wikipedia: “The name Cowaramup derives its name from Cowaramup Siding, which was located near the town-site, on the now disused Busselton to Augusta railway. The town-site was gazetted in 1925, originally to support the timber and dairy industries. The name is believed to be derived from Aboriginal word cowara, meaning purple-crowned lorikeet.

Locals from the region often refer to the town as “Cowtown”, a reference to the use of “cow” in the town’s name and its history of dairy farming.”

We had a fun morning; and I wasn’t the only one on the street with a camera. These cows are quite a tourist attraction.

 

Do 4 dolphins = 1 whale?

Yesterday we went on a whale watching tour and enjoyed over three hours sailing in Geographe Bay, Indian Ocean.

The brochure highlighted that around 35,000 whales migrate through the Bay each year on their journey to Antarctica.This includes Humpback, Southern Right, The Blue and Killer whales. But …

There were none to be seen yesterday!

We were heading back to the Port when a pod of dolphins followed the charter boat for a short time. This certainly lifted everyone’s spirits and I took some photos of them. As I was snapping away, my husband said “Do four dolphins equal a whale?”

At this point we actually hoped we didn’t see a whale because the ticket guaranteed if no whales are sighted we  are entitled to another trip for free. We will have another go once the school holidays are over and the weather will be a bit warmer too!

 

Popular words in 2016

Have you noticed any words being used more often than usual in 2016? You know how some words take on a higher profile at certain times? They even get annoying and meaningless after a while.

I have noticed that a lot of things are TRICKY this year and I have been caught up in using it myself. Some examples include the tension between China and its neighbours in the South China Sea is very tricky or the refugee issue is a tricky one. 

I would be interested to hear of other words that are trending this year. I am fascinated by the way our language evolves, while at the same time aware that sometimes we use words in a way that negates any meaning at all.

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