Creative cooking :-)

Click Here for Recipe for Shrimp Satay with Peanut Sauce

I am cooking a new dish each week that I have never cooked before. This week I found a recipe from another WordPress blogger – I served it with fresh, home-grown silver beet.

It was very nice. I could get to like cooking 🙂


The Third Age

How does one gracefully move from one stage of life to the next? Transitions can be hard work!

I never really bought into the capitalist idea of working extremely hard to gain a lot of money so that I could keep working hard to gain more money and possessions.

Spring in the Village 014 (Copy)

I worked primarily to:

  • provide a home for me and my three sons
  • pay the mortgage, the utility bills and food and clothing
  • meet some good outcomes for the unemployed and disadvantaged members of society
  • try to make a positive difference through the work I did each day.


Now I am no longer in the workplace I wonder how I can make a contribution. Sometimes I “go with the flow” but at other times I feel an urgency to do something useful or to make good use of my time and this stage of my life.

I am exploring being more creative; I am studying; I get some contract work from time to time; I joined a few not-for-profit community groups; but I still have time and energy on my hands. I even have a vegetable garden now but it doesn’t take much looking after.

Melbourne Cup Day 2012 022

My extended family aren’t in need of my support and both of my parents have passed away. I can enjoy learning new things such as calligraphy, taking videos and photos, sewing … and I will do those things.

I don’t think western society makes the most of the resources of our ageing baby-boomers. Many people my age are still working or busy with their families. Some are happy to follow their hobbies or to travel the world.

Roses 004We gain useful skills and knowledge in life and work and then we fade into the sunset without finding adequate use of our experience. It seems such a waste of resources. I only wish I could come up with an idea to capture these resources (mine and those of many other semi-retired people) and use them to the good of our society.


Any ideas are welcome on where to from here?

My fridge magnets

Actually they are on my filing cabinet really 🙂

1. One day as a TIGER is worth thousands as a SHEEP


2. Chill out!


3. God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change

Courage to CHANGE the things I can

And WISDOM to know the difference

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4. DANCE as though no-one is watching you

LOVE as though you have never been hurt

SING as though no-one can hear you

LIVE as though heaven is on earth

Ferguson Valley 025 (Copy)

5. Go confidentially in the direction of your dreams

Live the life you have imagined (Thoreau)

On the look out for whales in Geographe Bay in October

On the look out for whales in Geographe Bay in October 2013


Zero shades of grey

Sometimes, perhaps when I am not at my best, I see things as black or white; good or bad; wrong or right etc.

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It is good for me to remember that there may really be some shades of grey and that is OK. What is right for me may not be the same for you. Each person and each situation is unique.

It is just a matter of stopping our thinking for a moment and being objective about the possibilities. Being objective encourages me to be more tolerant and more philosophical about life in general.

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Do you think there is a place for black and white thinking? Are there some situations where it is universally clear what is right and what is wrong?



Pots of colour

Just before Christmas we bought some new pots for our back garden. We put flowering dahlias in them at the time. They looked great while the flowers were in full bloom but not so good afterwards.

We now have six palm trees that can grow up to 10 metres tall. Hopefully they will do well and offer a nice green foliage against the back fence.

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Antony Gormley

In 2003 I went to Lake Ballard near Menzies, north of Kalgoorlie in remote Western Australia. A rather unique exhibition was on display on the salt lake known as Lake Ballard. The sculptures by Antony Gormley, were placed on site in 2003 just before I visited and stay as a tourist attraction in the region. See the Wiki link below 🙂

To learn more about Lake Ballard and Antony Gormley CLICK HERE

Tools for becoming more creative

I did a Google search recently to see what I could find about creativity and how to get more of it into my life.

I found this great website – 21 Days to Awaken your Creativity

I subscribed to the site and joined up for the free 21 day course. Each day I receive an email with an activity – not too demanding – and I am really enjoying it (I am only up to day 5).

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It is encouraging me to look at everyday things in a different way. One task was to look at my wardrobe and think about what I regularly wear and consider if there is some way to do it a bit differently. I wore a skirt today whereas I just about always wear my jeans :-).

Today I was filling in time while waiting for an appointment and picked up a magazine. The options weren’t that great and I realised the one I selected was about boating. I have no interest whatsoever in boating, but I decided to read it cover to cover while I was waiting. I tried to see it in a new light. Would you believe it had some really good recipes in it as well (to cook the fish you caught on the boat :-))?

I purchased a nice looking little box to collect interesting bits and pieces that I may be inspired to do something with later. I also bought a basic sewing machine this week. I haven’t used one for a long time but I have ambitions to make table runners and cushion covers – I will see where it leads me.

Anyway, I thought I would share about the website as you may find it interesting as well. I find creativity to be a bit scary really, but exploring it in small doses feels really good.

cheers for now


About winning friends and influencing people

I think most  people today have at least heard of Dale Carnegie. I found a copy of Dale Carnegie’s Golden Book in my office. For more detailed info on The Dale Carnegie Training Institute CLICK HERE.

Esperance WA

Esperance WA

The Golden Book is really a compact (gold in colour) brochure with some of his key writings included. Probably his best known book is How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Here are some of the tips included in his book:

1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain

2. Give honest, sincere appreciation

3. Arouse in the other person an eager want

4. Become genuinely interested in other people

5. Smile

6. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language

7. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

8. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests

9. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.

Dale Carnegie was born in 1888 and lived until 1955.

Do you think his advice is still relevant today? Are there other suggestions that could be added to the list, in your opinion?

Alternatively, which one, out of the nine points, do you most relate to?




Two Bikes Eaten By a Tree

Ruth E. Hendricks Photography

If you’ve been following the blog since October 2011, you might have seen the original post of Bicycle Heaven with the four fiberglass Bowden Spacelander bicycles. 

Today after a district in-service meeting at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, a few of us dropped over to see Craig Morrow and his amazing Bicycle Heaven.  We got to see the latest addition.

Two bicycles in a treewere found in a farmer’s field that was being cleared.

The tree enveloped the bikes as it grew.

Found near Alliance, Ohio.  Posted on Craigslist. And then someone gave Craig a call about the Bike Tree and thought he might be interested in adding it to the Bicycle Museum’s collection.

When they cut the grass and underbrush, they found this…..  a 1930’s bicycle and a 1960’s bicycle, enmeshed in the tree’s growth.

Bike Tree

Thanks Marty, fellow art teacher, for moving the sign so I could…

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