Weekly Photo Challenge: Spare

Have you ever loved a book so much you bought a SPARE copy, just in case you lost the original? That’s what I did when I was at the Melbourne Airport on our way back to Perth a few weeks ago:-).

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For more information about the Weekly Photo Challenge press HERE

Getting Started on my Memoir

Wisteria PS

I asked for ideas on memoir writing a little while ago and received some excellent tips.

Even so, getting started was still a  problem. I decided to do a mind map/brain storm and see where that took me. I looked at it from the following angles:

  • why do I want to do it?
  • how am I going to do it?
  • what do I need to do it?
  • when is this going to happen?

I then put a table together with those headings and answered the questions honestly. Once I had the first three thoroughly considered I set a time-frame.

At the conclusion I committed myself to write just two pages for each different period in my life:

  • 60+ (where I am at right now)
  • 50-60 years
  • 40-50 years
  • 30-40 years
  • life in remote communities in my 20s and 30s
  • 20-30 years (when my children were born)
  • teenage years
  • primary school years

My commitment is to do two pages for each of the above before the 30th June 2016. I have a whiteboard where I tick off the days that I write so it is quite visual.

I am really enjoying the process. I don’t have a goal beyond 30 June but I will consider that when the time comes. Whether it ever comes to print doesn’t seem important. I am enjoying reflecting on the BIG PICTURE of my life – the good and not so good!

I am also collecting (in one place) other bits and pieces that I may merge at a later date.

Just thought I would share the process I developed as it may be useful to someone else:-)

 

 

Puffing Billy Steam Train

Here is a (very) short video I put together of our ride on Puffing Billy while on holidays recently. Around 1979 my husband at that time, was employed by Puffing Billy to maintain the track and supervise volunteers. It is mainly run and operated by volunteers today. I enjoyed the ride but I mostly wanted to experience some of the lovely rain forests in the hills that I remember so well. That is why I took the video:-)

This is only my second attempt at making videos and I acknowledge there is a lot for me to learn,

Revisiting Melbourne

I first lived in Melbourne in 1972 after I left school. I found work and at different times rented in the City, East Melbourne, West Melbourne and Brunswick. We left Melbourne first in 1980 to go and work in the Northern Territory and then finally said our goodbyes in 1982 when we moved to Western Australia.

I travelled from Western Australia to Victoria dozens of time over the years but didn’t ever stay in Melbourne as my folks lived in the country north of the Melbourne. For a while now I have been hankering for a walk down memory lane. We finally booked a holiday staying in the centre of Melbourne with five days to explore old haunts and recent additions such as Federation Square, Docklands and new shopping malls.

Below is a selection of photos that hold  memories for me.  There are the beautiful arcades, the place where I worked, and the Puffing Billy Steam train in the Dandenong Ranges.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Future

The past, present and the future are all interlinked but going forward as these family photos of four generations show:-).

 

 

What do you collect?

This post is inspired by Ruth’s blog and her collection of bunnies.

Some friends and family have given me teddy bears over the years, knowing my fondness for them. After seeing Ruth’s bunnies I thought it was time for a photo shoot wtih my bears:). What is it about these bears that pulls at our heart strings?

What do love and economics have in common?

Just recently while looking through some old documents I found my high school reports. I was surprised to see that I got top of my class in economics. I did enjoy the subject but didn’t pursue it any further beyond school.

Then today I was thinking about my Mum who passed away ten years ago. Over the years I tried to demonstrate my love and appreciation of her. Did I succeed in showing my love for her? I will never really know.

Then I got to thinking that love (as well as economics) responds to supply and demand to some degree. I tried to show my love through my words, gifts and time spent with her. That is what makes me feel loved.

Have you ever come across a book called “The Five Love Languages” by Dr Gary Chapman? The five languages are very briefly described as follows:

  • Words of affirmation
  • Quality time
  • Receiving gifts
  • Acts of service
  • Physical touch.

The book suggests that if we know the other’s love language we can learn to say and do the right things to make the special someone feel loved.

When we randomly respond to people by doing and saying what we ourselves want to hear and receive we may just miss the point.

Just with supply and demand in the economy we can be more successful if we are in tune with what our loved ones desire. Now I don’t claim to have a handle on this but thinking about it helped me see where relationships break down and misunderstandings can occur.

We mean well and love as best as we can and hopefully our good intentions are recognised.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Landscape

Here is my selection for this week’s challenge. I was surprised to see that for every landscape photo I have about twenty seascape ones! Living close to the beach today I don’t pay  as much attention to the landscape around me.

 

How much time is there?

There are 168 hours in one week. Do you know what you do with them all? Does it match what you would like to be doing? Even when we can see a mismatch it is hard to change our habits.

On another level, how much time do we have (in total)? Unless we have an appointment for voluntary euthanasia we would have to admit that we don’t know. We also don’t know how much time we have with our families, friends and acquaintances.

I started thinking about this after someone I know passed away last week. It is sad, but we were not close – however it made me consider whether I give enough thought and care to those I am close to.

It is so easy to put off telling people how much I care or asking questions about how others are really dealing with life. There is a sense that we have all the time in the world to do that. We don’t! At least I don’t.

Once again I am reminded to be awake to the  present moment and not to get caught up in thoughts about the past or fears about the future.

The present moment needs my full attention.

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First attempt at a video

One of my goals for 2016 was to learn how to edit videos. Today I sat down and had a go at it with some short videos I took in February 2016 when we did the circuit from home to Perth, Kalgoorlie, Esperance and home again. It starts off with the Super Pit at Kalgoorlie Gold MIne.

I know I have a long way to go but it felt good to learn the basics :). It is only a very short video and you may notice the salmon coloured gum trees – one of my favourite species of gum tree.

Something to think about …

consciousness

I was taken by a reading in my online philosophy class. It is as follows:

I have now reigned about fifty years in victory or peace, beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, and respected by my allies. Riches and honours, power and pleasure, have waited on my call, nor does any earthly blessing appear to have been wanting for my felicity. In this situation, I have diligently numbered the days of pure and genuine happiness which have befallen to my lot. They amount to fourteen: O man! Place not thy confidence in this present world.

Abd Er-Rahman III, who ruled Cordoba in Spain in the 10th Century

Now what do you make of that?

Weekly Photo Challenge: One Love

One of my loves is miniature china tea sets. It was interesting to discover how many things I loved in my archives – it was a difficult task in choosing ONE love. It is one love among many:).

For more information about the weekly photo challenge click HERE

 

Anyone for tea Unique

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Old Country Roses

Looking for creative ideas …

I am working with a small group of recently retired people to help them (and me) explore the transition to retirement in a positive and affirming way.

I want to explore creativity in an upcoming session and I want to present it in a creative way. I want people to be able to see that creativity does not just belong to talented people who are artistic or gifted in such ways – that it is open to all of us.

I thought “Why not ask other creative bloggers for ideas?” And so I am doing just that!

All ideas are welcome including good websites or actual suggestions for the two hour session. Thanks in advance:-). I will keep exploring ideas as well.

creativity ideas

Weekly Photo Challenge: Harmony

For more information about this week’s Photo Challenge click HERE

harmony (noun) =a ​situation in which ​people are ​peaceful and ​agree with each other, or when things ​seemright or ​suitable together:

​Racial harmony = good ​feelings between different ​races.

This photo was taken in Numbulwar in the Northern Territory of Australia in 1980. We lived in the remote Aboriginal community for 12 months while employed to assist the local Aboriginal people in running the Community Store. Management and ownership of the store was handed over to them after that time.

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The mind journey to work …

I am startled awake by the alarm
I get up and methodically eat and get ready for work
I don’t want to go – not really – don’t feel up to it.
I must go – just deal with getting to work
Then deal with getting started
Drive to my next location – notice the colours of the cars
Be in the moment
Be friendly and do what I have to do
Remember that life is about love – be loving – be friendly
Pretend to be confident – no-one will know I am pretending
Enjoy the sunshine – relax into it
Drive to the next location
Try and do a good job – be loving
It gets easier as the day progresses
Healed by the warm sunshine and warm smiles
Do what I need to do – be kind
I am grateful for a good day.

Passionfruit flower PS

Life and Groceries

For many months I ordered my weekly grocery shopping online and had it delivered to my kitchen benchtop. For a number of reasons I returned to shopping in store.

It was interesting to note that I stopped purchasing many of the items that were on “my usuals” list online. Going back to the store meant more options and opportunities to change habits.

It occurred to me that life is a bit like that! I can get into a groove (rut) and follow the “my usuals” list of how I live my life day to day. I can get stuck doing the same things just because I have a narrow view of my options.

It is easy to just do the same things from week to week. However getting out and seeing what else the world has to offer can add a new flavour to our days.
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Too much excitement …

As we were relaxing and eating lunch today my husband pointed outside and said “snake”. At first I thought he was joking. We do get an assortment of creatures passing by our patio. I got up and had a look and sure enough, it WAS a tiger snake!

Once that thought registered I stood for a moment looking at it – it was quite beautiful really, in a reptilian sort of way! I even went to grab my phone to take a photo. By that time it had moved beyond our sight and I wasn’t about to follow it.

We got in contact with a local group who, according to their brochure they “devote their time and efforts to meeting the needs of injured, misplaced and misunderstood reptiles.”

Unfortunately the very brave, young lady was unable to locate the snake but will come again if there is another sighting. We love living close to the natural bush behind us but it is difficult to come to terms with sharing our space with dangerous reptiles.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: State of Mind

For more information about the Photo Challenge click HERE

It would be easy to jump to the conclusion that my state of mind was melancholic when I took these photos.

In actual fact I had a wonderful weekend of solitude in Hopetoun in Western Australia. It felt like I had the beach to myself (I did) and I spent the weekend just relaxing. I remember enjoying licorice ice-cream, chocolate bullets and reading a girlie magazine while staying at a lovely rammed earth holiday unit.

100 Reasons To Stay Alive

Today I was looking for information about having a life purpose and there are many lofty ideas out there. I like this post by cheskablogs.wordpress.com as it is something we can all relate to:-).

The inner critic – an interesting twist

criticism

No doubt you will know what I mean when I talk about my inner critic. It is that ever present voice in my head that tells me I should …

  • do better
  • say or not say something
  • lose weight and exercise more
  • work harder
  • achieve more
  • be happier
  • help others more
  • and so forth

I am aware of my inner critic some of the time and at other times it has full rein.

This is where Donal Trump plays a role! I dreamt last night that I was working for him and no matter what I did it wasn’t good enough. I was nearly fired every time I encoutered him in my daily work. When I reflected on my dream this morning I interpreted it to mean that my inner critic has a lot of Mr Trump’s characteristics. I am basing this on his reality TV show The Apprentice.

So now I will have no hesitation in naming this inner critic, Donald, and showing him the door and saying ” You are fired!”

 

 

 

Once upon a skink :-)

A skink is not a skunk
No matter what you think
Not even if you are truly drunk
A skink is a skink as sure as ink is ink!

Now a skunk is altogether different
And never to be found Down-Under
Skinks love my home, it is apparent
How many live here – I wonder?

Skinky One is drinking out the back
Another sighted in the front this morning
Reptilian friends – we have no lack
You can be sure life is never boring!

Writing a memoir

I would like to write my memoir one day. I am currently collecting information and advice as to how to go about it. I have scoured my blog for passages that can be included. I have also read several memoirs to learn how writers tackle it.

My intent is to gather snippets of information/memories until I feel I have a good mix and quantity of quality information.

The purpose of this post is to glean advice and guidance from fellow bloggers. I am sure many people have travelled this road before me and will have some good advice of what to do or not do.

How would YOU go about it? Please share your thoughts/tips with me:-)

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My Favourite Quote

There is an endless supply of great quotes and they are so easy to access these days on the internet. I discovered this one about thirty years ago and still find it to be inspiring today.

Quote for new year

Wise Words

Give

I saw this quote on Facebook and I think it  suggests a well balanced approach to life.

However, I haven’t always followed this guidance and sometimes I reaped the negative consequences the quote suggests.

I have tended to do almost anything for peace and harmony in my life but now I realise I mustn’t lose myself in the process.

Some lessons take a life time to learn.

I hope I am not being naive in posting it on my blog!

Paintings

I feel like doing a blog post but ideas are lacking. Instead I am posting photos of four of the original paintings that grace our walls:-).

 

Transitioning to Retirement

My old workplace

My old workplace

I will be facilitating  a course through the local branch of the University of the Third Age starting in February. The topic of my six-week course (2 hours a week) is Transitioning to Retirement.

I am fascinated with this topic following my own experience in adapting to life post full-time employment (at age 55). When I was working I used to see people in cafes as I rushed past them on my way to the office. I really envied others’ freedom to enjoy a coffee and to read the paper during the morning rush hour. I knew I wanted to do that one day!

That was about the extent of my retirement planning!

Since then I have tried out seven different voluntary roles, five different paid jobs (including casual positions), explored self-employment,  studied professional, creative, and feature writing. I also studied philosophy and dabbled in a few other things as well.

My research recently led me to a book by Nancy K. Schlossberg called Revitalizing Retirement: Reshaping Your Identity, Relationships, and Purpose, published by the American Psychological Association. It is an interesting read!

Nancy talks about having a Psychological Portfolio for retirement made up of IDENTITY, RELATIONSHIPS AND PURPOSE. She suggests that we need to address each of these areas to make the most of the retirement years.

Having moved location at the same time as leaving my long-term career means I have work to do on all three of these areas. I am hoping that my experience and research may help others who are in a similar situation.

Now I think I will have a coffee and read the paper and watch all those workers scurrying to and fro!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Weight(less)

When I hear the word “weight” I immediately think of scales and battles trying to lose IT! So I went slightly off where my thoughts were leading to come up with these two photos (the new and the old):-).

To view other contributions to this week’s topic, click HERE

The awkward raw prawn

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I have been known to have some culinary disasters in my time. It seems to happen when I am trying my hardest to put on a good show for my guests. And it usually involves something we didn’t really need on the menu – a last-minute addition.

A week before Christmas we went to the seafood shop down the road to buy some fresh fish for dinner. I noticed they had some frozen, peeled prawns and I thought they could be added to our Christmas lunch.

We had guests at our place on Boxing Day (we went to my son and daughter-in-law’s place on Christmas Day). I pre-cooked the turkey and had a nice piece of ham to go with it.

That morning I got the prawns out of the freezer but hadn’t given much thought as to how I was going to serve them. I decided that a lime and chili dressing would be nice. I made sure the prawns were at the right temperature (not still frozen but safely defrosted).

I mixed the dressing and added it to the prawns and put them in a bowl on the table. I put some on my plate. When I ate one I knew something wasn’t right but couldn’t put my finger on what it was. I had a panicky feeling that maybe they were raw!

I decided to confess my fears but my guests assured me they were fine. After dinner I checked online about eating raw prawns – it seemed that I would live to tell the tale!

PS the photo is from a Christmas Dinner a few years ago – those prawns WERE cooked!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Circles

i initially thought the subject of circles would be easy but there are so many circles around us that it is hard to choose which one. I decided to go for the “less is more” image today:-).

For more about the Weekly Photo Challenge click HERE

Five years blogging and another year starts …

It is five years this week since I started my blog – a lot has changed in those five years! A lot has stayed the same too.

As I look back over the past year and look toward 2016 I wonder what lies ahead. I am sitting on a fence in time between the old and the new.

I am not looking for adventure or to do anything great. I just hope my friends, family, neighbours and fellow bloggers will keep well, enjoy life and know love and peace in their days.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Now

If you would like to know more about this week’s challenge click on   Weekly Photo Challenge: Now

It is a warm day today  (NOW) – around 30 degrees Celsius. The West Australian sky is brilliant blue; the vegetables are thriving; and the chili plants are sheltering the water feature from too much sun.

 

Merry Christmas

Wishing you, your friends and family, a happy, healthy, safe and fun Christmas Day.

Thank you for reading my blog throughout the year and I look forward to interacting with you again in 2016.

We are ready and waiting for Santa to arrive – less than three hours to midnight here:-).

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An unsettling dream …

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I don’t usually write about my dreams as they can be pretty weird, as they are with most people I imagine. Last night I had a dream that hasn’t occurred for several years.

I dreamed I had (secretly) buried a dead body (some time ago) and it was about to be discovered. I was extremely anxious and dreading being found out. I wondered what this dream theme symbolises so I did a google search.

It is surprising to find out that it is a common dream and I thought it might be interesting to see if other bloggers have experienced it as well.

Here is a link to one site that provides an interpretation: Dream Meaning

Have any readers experienced this dream as well? Please let me know as I am curious about how common it is.

***the photo is of Wittenoom in the Pilbara region of Western Australia where asbestos mining took place up until the late 20th century.

 

It is the little things…

A lovely post from Sabigurl …

Welcome To Sabigurl's Blog

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She wanted to talk, she had a lot on her mind, but there was no one to listen to her. She needed a shoulder to lean on, but everyone had their own problem to attend too.  She thought to call a friend, he was too busy to listen, and he called her a ‘drama-queen’. She felt lonelier with each passing day. People she thought were her friends were not there for her at the time she needed them the most. Gradually she fell into depression.

He wished he could talk to his parents, but they were too busy making money. He was an only child, he never had anyone to guide him and he never related much with his relatives because he didn’t have the opportunity. Whenever he had problems his parent would shove him aside claiming they had one deadline or the other to meet. He wasn’t a happy…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Gathering

What do we call a gathering of politicians?

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I worked for the North West Telegraph (a Pilbara community newspaper in the early 1990’s) and all these pollies happened to be in  town at the same time. There must have been an election in the air!

If anyone is interested, from left to right, is Graham Campbell (former Federal MP for Kalgoorlie), Mark Neville (former State MP), Peter Walsh (former Finance Minister in the Federal Government), Tom Helm (former State MP, Pilbara), Kevin Leahy, (former State MP, Northern Rivers) and Tom Stephens (former State member for the Pilbara who went on to hold various Ministerial posts).

For more information about the Weekly Photo Challenge click HERE

 

Where do Australians come from?

I am Australian however my ancestors are relatively new to this country compared to Indigenous Australians.

My father’s father was a first generation Australian and his father was born in Ennis, Ireland.

My paternal grandmother and her father were both born in Australia but the previous generation of their family called Denmark home.

My mother’s father was born in Australia as was his father, however the previous generation called Barrhead, Scotland home.

My mother’s mother was also born here but her father came from Alderbury, Wiltshire in England. He also spent some time in California during the gold rush.

It was interesting to get the results of a recent DNA ethnicity test and find that my profile was as follows:

Irish 34%

Great Britain 30%

Scandinavia 18%

The balance is made up of 9% Western Europe and 6% Italy/Greece and a mixture for the remaining 3%.

Having done the DNA test I find it interesting to reflect how multicultural Australia really is and has been since the First Fleet arrived in 1788.