My 500th blog post

number500Today I celebrate my 500th blog posting! WOW! I started blogging on 28 December in 2010! This is what I had to say in my very first post:

“I want to share my thoughts about life and its purpose. I want to pose questions that are eternal! Why are we here? Does it matter, what we do? Is my role in life predestined?

When I was growing up, I was taught by nuns in the Catholic Church. I hung onto those thoughts and beliefs for many years. They were good for me at times in my life. Overall, I think they had a very negative impact on my self-esteem. I started to study philosophy and see the world from a different perspective.”

***I had to really restrain myself from changing the above words as I would say it very differently today!

As I reflect on my blogging journey, I also reflect on my life journey. Blogging has given me a platform to express myself like I have never done before. I write and post photos because I have something to say and share. My blogging has evolved just as my life’s course has evolved – it is all ONE journey!

I greatly appreciate it when someone reads my blog or “likes” it or both. This is my opportunity to thank YOU!

I have not chased the statistics and I obviously will never be a star blogger but that is OK. Thanks for joining me on my journey and for teaching me about other interesting parts of the world, different cultures, age groups, interests, and perspectives.

This blog would not be complete without an enormous THANK YOU to WordPress for enabling all this to happen. You are awesome!

Cheers

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Weekly photo challenge: fleeting moments

I took my trusty camera with me this morning, on my morning walk to get the Sunday paper and some fresh bread. Fleeting moments were in really short supply! Being winter and Sunday morning it was very quiet. It is also great to see some of the neighborhoods where other bloggers hang out.

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Even so I took three shots that must be “fleeting” as they can never, ever be exactly the same again.  A moment in time, never to be repeated! If only I could learn that EVERY moment in time is fleeting!

Lorraine

Auntie Yvonne – the things we did

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Auntie Yvonne was born Yvonne McKenna in country Victoria on 28 May 1920. That makes her nearly 92 years old today. Being the eldest in the family she had a big role in looking after her younger siblings.

On 16 December in 1944 she married former Corporal Roy O’Halloran when he returned from his World War II  service with the Air Force. They settled in their home in Cohuna and both remained there for over sixty years until Auntie Yvonne was unable to care for herself after Uncle Roy’s death on 21 August in 2010.

Auntie is currently in the care of a Nursing Home due to the progression of her dementia. I live on the other side of the country so I haven’t seen much of her in recent times.

Roy and Yvonne were a strong presence in our family throughout all of our lives. They didn’t have any children of their own and were very much part of our extended family. Auntie loved to cook and to sew and was always presenting us with something she had just made. She knitted and croteched and was always busy with her hands. We especially remember the cakes she cooked for us. She was a bit outragious with her decorations with bright coloured icing!

Auntie was a great sports person as well – she excelled at whatever she took on. She played golf and bowls at the top level for many years and collected cupboards full of trophies. My Mum didn’t drive and so it was always Auntie who drove us to the nearby towns for outings and to go shopping. They were very exciting times 🙂 Our home town was very small (population of 2,200 people) so going to the larger towns and cities was a big deal.

Auntie played an important role when I was born as I was flown to Melbourne by the Royal Flying Doctors Service for emergency treatment. Mum had four other young children to look after and Auntie assisted in getting Mum to Melbourne and back  while I was in hospital for a month after I was born.

My sister went on Youth Camps on a couple of occasions with Auntie – to assist in giving a group of disadvantaged children a holiday by the sea. I am told they (Auntie and my sister) played up and had a great time once the kids were securely in bed! They still have a laugh about it today.

I am very grateful for having Auntie Yvonne in my life and the life of our family.They had cats and chooks and a big vegetable garden plus lots of fruit trees. I especially remember the mulbery tree and the mess we would make on our hands and faces 🙂

I almost forgot an important memory –  every Easter she would buy us all a wonderful candy Easter Egg. It was so strong that it was really hard to bite into and lasted much longer than all our other chocolate eggs.

That’s it for today – there are many more memories I will save for another time!

Free love and all that stuff…

An Australian anti-conscription poster from Wo...

An Australian anti-conscription poster from World War One (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was on the fringes of the hippie movement in the 1970’s.

It was an exciting time to live in Melbourne, Australia. I worked in the central City where many anti-war demonstrations were held. I felt passionately against our involvement in the war in Vietnam  – more so because my brother was an Infantry foot soldier on the front line.

So what happened to those hundreds of people who came out to protest? Where are they today?

I have a strong interest in that generation of women (in particular – because I am one!) and I plan to use that interest in an assignment I am working on.

Today I did a “brain storm” to try to drill down to what hooks me into that time. I will share my thoughts with you below. I spent six hours working on the assignment today and now I am taking a break from it all. The brainstorm exercise helped me focus on what was driving me.

Here’s my random thoughts about it all:

Why do I want to do some research about women getting older?

Am I trying to find some meaning and purpose to the pains and experiences of the previous few decades?

Do I want to be recognised as having something of value to say and pass on?

Is there a yearning to some distant past when women were able to pass on their knowledge and experience to the next generation?

Is it about wanting to still be relevant?

Do I have anything I want to say and if I do, is it about relationships, money, family, friendships, careers?

What WAS IT all about?  1970’s, hippies, free love, the peace movement? Did it mean anything?

Did we learn anything?

Do we have anything meaningful to pass on?

Was it just a stage like every new generation?

Is it the need to have a voice – to continue to have a voice?

Is it the need to be heard?

Is it REBELLION against authority (still or again) – AUTHORITY is now mostly in the hands of the younger generation!!!!

Am I wrestling with getting older? Refusing to go away?

Is it about wanting to warn others or prepare others about the challenges that may be ahead – is it out of LOVE or FEAR?

Is it about the fight to making sure I have access to good health services, living conditions and respect?

I would love to hear your thoughts about that generation and if it was just a phase we were going through!

cheers for now

Lorraine

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

Lorraine

Food is complicated

Yes, food is complicated – or at least it can be! I am one of those people who never seem to lose their appetites and there is hardly any food that I don’t like. So no matter what I feel like, I almost always enjoy the pleasure of eating! That is not a bad thing in itself, is it?

We all know there is a massive market out there:

  • Cook books
  • Cooking shows on TV
  • Cooking celebrities
  • Diets –  a multi-million $ market
  • Scientific research – you know the ones I mean – research that says one day that red wine is good for us and then the next day there is evidence that it will harm us. What can we believe?

Each person who has an allergy or sensitivity to food will tell you the answer they found after years of searching – and they won’t believe anything other that what works well for them. They may be quite insistent that it will work for you too!

We often use food to celebrate occasions such as Christmas and Easter (not to mention the opportunities for alcohol as well – but that’s another story!). Certain foods can be quite evocative in reminding us of a person or a time in the past. In my family, the appeal of crystallised ginger and ginger beer goes back a few generations. So when I see ginger or ginger beer in the shops I think of a family get-together.

Some people can eat what they  like and never seem to gain weight. It may be true that they lead a more active life as well. But…for me, if I eat too much I get fat! What an awful fact but it seems I can’t deny this is true.

How do we motivate ourselves to change our behaviours? I have tried heaps of things in the past and they may work for a while and then I slip back again. If you have some good motivations tips for a healthy diet, I would love to hear from you.

No doubt you have heard the sayings “Just for today…” I am not sure where they originate from, however I am going to adopt a new one today and it is not too difficult.

Just for today I am going to stick to my eating plan (based on Weight Watchers). I can’t guarantee that I will do it again tomorrow, but I will give it my best effort today! 

So there it is …. just before Easter too!

cheers

Lorraine

Some snippets from my past week…

This is my idea of comfort 🙂

snippet one: I order my groceries online and they are delivered to my kitchen! It is a great service. There is a little bit of skill (or patience) in doing an online order. It still takes time even though I don’t have to leave the house. When something is unavailable I  get an email apology. This week the loo paper I ordered were sold out so they said “We hope we have not affected any essential plans you have made.” That made me smile 🙂 

snippet two: My nephew had heart surgery (he’s in his 30’s and I was worried about him). His whole family were concerned about him! I needn’t have been. He was on Facebook one hour after waking from the surgery and thanked everyone for their support.

snippet three: My youngest son has commenced his walk on the Appalachian Trail. I am so pleased for him that he has taken such a big step (so to speak). His last update on Facebook was “I am off for a walk…). It is difficult being a parent – I really felt for my sister yesterday as her son underwent major heart surgery. I feel a sense of loss (all perfectly normal and natural) that my son has embarked on a such a journey and I know his life will never be the same again – it a good way, but I am feeling more redundant.

snippet four: I spent a lot of time on my studies this week. It is a bit scary knowing that I have just started and have 2 assignments due in a few weeks. I am sure I can do it but some self-doubt creeps in at times.

snippet five: I worked for two days, plus did some work in the house and garden as well. It is gratifying to see things getting done. I even went for a walk today (exercise is good :-))

snippet six: Tomorrow my second son and my daughter-in-law are coming over for lunch (roast lamb) and I am looking forward to it. I even made a cake (the second one this year (decade would be more like it). We are celebrating my daughter-in-law’s birthday.

In summary: I had a pretty good week, achieved a lot, so why do I feel a bit down in the dumps? Who knows? We women can be funny creatures at times! It is hard to be upbeat all the time. However I think it is good to be honest about how we feel – how can we have true relationships with others if we are pretending all the time?

Maybe I just need a cup of coffee and a nice piece of chocolate 🙂

Cheers for now

Lorraine

Kimberley region of Western Australia

In the 1980’s I lived in the Kimberley in North Western Australia. I lived in Fitzroy Crossing and later in Derby, before moving to the city (Perth). It is an amazing part of our country. So harsh and yet so beautiful. In the wet season (anytime between November and April) the roads can flood and even be washed away. It can be very dangerous on the roads.

The sky was so dramatic – the lightening and thunderstorms were so loud and frightening (at first). With the heat and the rain come the snakes and all manner of wild life! I can’t believe I let my three lads play in the same place where the snakes maneuvered from place to place. I was younger then and trusted that they would be ok. Thankfully they were ok!

 I will go back for a visit one day!

 Cheers for now

 Lorraine

Post cards aka snail mail :-)

Here is a sample of the postcards I have in my collection. It is interesting to read the short notes on the back of them. They go back several decades. I found one written by my Uncle Chris in World War II. His words to his mum were “Still alive and well” – they were the most important words!

I hope you enjoy having a browse at my collection. I love the ones that come in books – to nice to ever use though.

Cheers for now

Lorraine

Secret womens’ business

little gems of wisdom

If you are female and born between 1946 and 1963 I need your help!

As part of my writing course I need to conduct a survey and I want to do it online. I want to show the wisdom, knowledge, the regrets and inspiration of baby boomer women. I need about ten more volunteers who are willing to answer 11 questions online. It will only take about 5-10 minutes and it will be completely confidential. I will use some online software like Survey Monkey. I will also share the results with you by email.

Interested ladies, please email me on reoh@iinet.net.au I promise I will respect your pearls of wisdom to the best of my ability.

kind regards

Lorraine