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


Weekly photo challenge: the sun

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What a difference a little sunshine can make! Have a look at these photos – the sun adds a magical element to them.

(Thank you to my neighbours for the use of their whirly bird on their roof and jasmine as the subjects of my photos).





What I found out about women!

Memorial for women of WWII

Recently I did a survey of women born between 1946 and 1963. This generation is often called the “baby boomers” who were born not long after the end of World War II. A lot has been written about them and how they differ from earlier generations. I was curious to test a sample of these women and find out how life is for them now and what wisdom can they pass on to the next generation of women.

It seems to be true that they are a group who love their independence and are mostly financially secure. The majority of the women I surveyed said their work was very important to them – for interest, social networks and the income.

I will post more information on a new page shortly on my blog under SURVEY if you would like to read more of the detail. The information was provided in confidence and so no names or identifiers are attached.

The thing that stood out to me the most was the overwhelming number of women who had advice about finance. Not only about what they did, but also about what they WISHED they had done. It got me to thinking that even today the world of finance is still mostly a male domain. This has a lot to do with many women not staying in the workplace long-term because of the decision to have children. It is often the case that they cannot catch up to the male colleagues once they have time out for having children. I know it is changing to some degree with parental leave becoming more common in some industries.

I do wonder how we to encourage young women today to be more proactive about their finances. My next task (in this assignment) is to have a look at what is available to assist women’s financial literacy.

I know there are many young women who are incredibly capable of using good financial management practices, savings, investment properties and the stock market.

In my personal experience, poverty is a very strong motivating factor – especially if you have others who are dependent on you!

Some of the women in my questionnaire cannot start afresh. They have kindly assisted me with my questionnaire and provided lots of good advice for younger women on a range of life matters.

Many thanks if you were one of my participants 🙂

cheers for now


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!



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


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


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


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


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

Weekly Photo Challenge – Unusual

Appallachian Trail beware!

This photo for today’s Weekly Photo Challenge is of my youngest son trying out his new wet-weather gear in readiness to fly to the US and walk the Appalachian Trail, starting at Atlanta.

I often dream that I am flying to America. It is a recurrent dream (nightmare) and is always packed with disaster. I dream that I:

  • forget my passport
  • lose my passport
  • miss the plane
  • go on the wrong plane
  • I can’t get a taxi
  • my phone won’t work and I can’t call the taxi
  • and just about everything goes wrong.

So, in seeing my son off to America, I felt well prepared for everything that could possibly go wrong. I was there to make sure it all went well. I checked over his ticket details and pointed out some fine print that he missed (minor things) to make sure every box was ticked.

So, yesterday we got to the plane in plenty of time, we found a good parking space – it was all going well. There was a long queue to check-in so my partner and I watched and waited. When he got to the check-in, it seemed to be taking longer that it should. Alarm bells started ringing!

What possibly could be wrong. Then I saw him walk away from check-in and he still had his luggage. This was not a good sign 😦 He was directed to another counter and I decided to find out what was happening. He pointed to his ticket and specifically to the date!

We were there one day too soon! I couldn’t believe my eyes and then I couldn’t help laughing. I had read that piece of paper from top to bottom but I hadn’t noticed the date at the top of the page. I wasn’t angry or annoyed – it was just one of those things that happen!

He was to fly via New Zealand and so we checked and found he could do the first leg of the journey and have nearly two days in New Zealand as a bonus :-). He WILL get to L.A. in the next few days after all.

The outfit he is wearing is made of a new fabric that is ultra-light. I had it made locally. Information about the fabric can be found at:

Hopefully my son will read this blog in the next day or so and remember to let this mum know that he is doing fine 🙂 as she is thinking of him!

cheers for now