Weekly photo challenge: 2012 in photos

I had a good year in 2012!

Below are some of the special moments captured on film.

If you hold the cursor over the photo it will tell you more about the event.

Wishing everyone health, happiness and lots of fun blogging in 2013!


Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflection

Map of Appalachian Trail

Map of Appalachian Trail (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My son Thru-Hiked on the Appalachian Trail  from Atlanta to Maine between March and September this year. Below is a link to his last blog which he called “At the end and reflection” ( I even get a mention :-))

Please click on the following LINK: At the end of the Appalachian Trail Hike  Joel reflects about his experience on the Trail. He had a great time. The photo below was taken at some point during the Trail.

I have submitted another photo where I tried to capture some of the forest in the South West while traveling at speed (within the limits of course :-))



great photo of Joel

My attempt at taking a photo on the move!

My attempt at taking a photo on the move!

My son completed the Appalachian Trail a few days ago. Guess who is very proud of him 🙂 Lorraine


The last day I woke up about 7am with a trace of a hangover and only 5 miles to climb up a little hill called Katahdin. Stinger had left an hour ago, Whitewater left at about 7 and the rest of us, motown, janza, red man, philly ben and myself left at about 8am. The climb wasn’t too bad really, it was fun. I got to the top at 11am.
I had to hold back tears when I saw the sign. After 4 and a half months of hiking, my journey finally came to an end. It was a very satisfying feeling. We all shook hands and congratulated each other and took photos, then a few hours later we shared a hotel room and drank some more beers to celebrate.


At the bottom of the mountain. Not sure what’s going on here.


On the way up. That’s Janza, he’s really…

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I need your help please

English: Looking up from the Hunt Spur towards...

English: Looking up from the Hunt Spur towards the Gateway from the Hunt Trail on Katahadin. The Hunt Trail is also the Appalachian Trail. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have decided to do some more study this Semester and as part of it I have to write a publishing proposal. Firstly I need to do some market research and I thought you may like to help me. The publishing proposal will include:

  • a table of contents
  • synopsis
  • a sample chapter
  • bibliographical details
  • potential market –  this where I would value your opinion please
  • word length
  • details of relevant contacts, associations and newsletters that could be used for marketing.

I don’t have any plans or wish to write a book  just now. I am going along for the journey and I am not sure where it will lead me. It is interesting to learn about the publishing process as there is so much more to it than I ever imagined. It is very market focused and it appears that the trick is to find a gap in the market.

I have some ideas for an imagined book. I can check online book stores to see what already exists.

For example, I thought of writing about my son walking the Appalachian Trail (he should be on the peak of Mt Katahdin any day now, having walked over two thousand miles).

I searched on Amazon and there are 3,577 books available on the Appalachian Trail so maybe that market is already saturated. However I couldn’t find any of these books written from an Australian’s experience. At present, my options include:

  1. my son’s adventure on the Appalachian Trail (I would have to work in partnership with him obviously)
  2. stories of living in remote communities in Australia
  3. understanding the challenges of being a sole parent
  4. wisdom gained from years of life experience (often the wisdom comes after disaster 🙂
  5. women from the Baby Boom generation

So, would you be so kind  and reply with your choice of options 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 as a potential topic for a book that might interest you. If none of them do, that is fine also. This will still be my market research! Even if you can just go to the comment box below and write your choice, I will be very grateful 🙂 )





A long way from home

Appalachian Trail – I couldn’t resist re blogging my son’s blog today. In March this year he started walking the Trail from Springer Mountain in Georgia and is now getting close to the end of the it – having walked over 1800 miles thus far. It is great following his journey from here in Australia 🙂


Lakes of the clouds hut

Today I walked most of the ridgeline for the presidential range, a bunch of mountains named after presidents. It was pretty amazing as the second half was all alpine zone so you could see everything.


From Mt Webster. Mt Washington is the tallest peak on the horizon.



From Mt Eisenhower


Me eating Mt Washington from Mt Franklin.


Lakes of the Clouds Hut, while climbing Mt Monroe.


The Lakes of the Clouds, with Mt Washington in the background.


The lake from close up.

Osgood tent site
Today was a very slow day. I got left behind by Veggie and Philly Ben. I may be taking my time a little too much now. But I’m still really tired, and sunburnt for the for time on the trail. Two days hiking through alpine terrain will do that to you!


Mt Washington this morning.



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Dead in the water?

I haven’t written much lately – maybe three times a week and even then, I am a bit lost as to what to write about. I feel like I have lost my way with my blog. I change the look and feel of it sometimes to give it a fresh look. I try being creative with my topics but nothing much seems to be working.

I guess I am measuring the value of my  blog my the number of views, likes and comments I get. Today it was a big ZERO! But really, does that matter? Perhaps I have become too concerned about pleasing others and not focusing on improving my writing skills by keeping on going and writing as often as I can.

I bought an ebook yesterday called “BlogWise: How to Do More with Less” by Darren Rowse (a fellow Aussie). It is about people who have successful blogs and how they do it. So far the examples are so far removed from me that I can’t really relate to them. These are super-successful blogs that bring income and employ staff. Blogging is an important tool they use in their business.

I made a few notes as I was reading:

  • mind mapping for blog ideas
  • know your goals
  • plan your day for each hour and then chunk it
  • do what works for you – it doesn’t have to be cool (I liked that one!)
  • experiment
  • what is the big picture?
  • listen to your favourite music as you blog
  • drink coffee and blog
  • be accountable

These are taken from the book by Darren Rowse and now I will reevaluate what my goals are, what it the big picture. Some of the successful bloggers mentioned frustration at times and reinforced the need to keep writing regardless. So I might try writing every day again – just to get back into the habit and I will see how that goes.

I would welcome any other tips to improve my blog.



PS To those who have followed my blog for a while – I can report that my son, who is walking the Appalachian Trail has reached the 1000 mile point  and is now in West Virginia.

Related articles

Ten functions I used on my PC today

Map of Appalachian Trail

Map of Appalachian Trail (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. I checked on FaceBook lots of times to see if there is any news from my son who is on the Appalachian Trail

2. I checked my work emails – I really need to get a life – it is SUNDAY

3. I did some work on my latest assignment – realised I needed to DO the Module before I can DO the assignment!  ouch! 😦

4. I checked and read my emails and did some tidying up and actioned flagged emails where possible

5. I read some of the blogs I subscribe to and made some comments and ‘likes’ on their blogs

6. I did a HP survey about this computer I bought a few months back – SOMEONE has to do surveys!

7. Checked my blog stats a few times – I am nearing 300 posts and have over 8,000 reads 🙂

8. I ordered my groceries online and they will be delivered tomorrow

9. Paid my mobile phone account

10. Wrote this blog

What have you done on your computer today? Was it more interesting than my experience? I hope so 🙂


cheers for now


Today’s blog isn’t really a blog – it is a test of my IT skills :-)

The Pocosin cabin along the trail in Shenandoa...

The Pocosin cabin along the trail in Shenandoah National Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today I want to do a blog mainly so I can test that everything is working as it should be.

I spent a couple of hours on the computer and I could get two out three things working but couldn’t manage to pull off all three. Hopefully I have achieved victory after changing my browser yet again – this time to Mozilla Firefox.

I have mentioned my son before – he is doing the Appalachian Trail. If anyone is interested in having a look at his blog it is at www.neanderjoel.wordpress.com

He seems to be having a great time – he commented that Americans are just like us (Australians) except they talk funny! I enjoyed that.

cheers for now


Appalachian Trail meets Aussie – a walk in the woods!

As of today, my son has 6 month visa in America and he will take on the challenge of walking the Appalachian Trail. I am so pleased for him that it has worked out so well. No doubt he will have some challenges ahead but I am sure he is up for it.

A few years ago he decided to walk the Bibbulmun Track (for more information on this walk trail see http://www.bibbulmuntrack.org.au/  It goes from Perth to Albany  in Western Australia. He did it in the hottest time of the year (even walked on Christmas Day!). He managed to complete the Track in about six weeks. His next challenge will take up to six months!

He bought some new walking shoes – they looked all clean and new. I remembered another photo I had from his earlier walk and thought the two photos could tell a good story. So here they are…

Bibbulmin Track Shoes

Appalachian Trail shoes