Australia · friends · new beginnings · quotes

Just sidling by….

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โ€œPiglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered.
“Yes, Piglet?”
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.โ€ ~ A.A. Milne, from Winnie the Pooh.

Today I am impersonating Piglet, sidling up to you just to say hello, with nothing in particular to say.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have plenty to say. My mental list of blog posts is longer than my arm, but just now I’m focussing my attention of Other Important Things. I need this time to stay focussed. See what a great job I’m doing with staying focussed? Just had to drop everything and write a quick blog post, between completing This Job and starting The Next Job. ๐Ÿ˜‰

two

โ€œYou can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.โ€~ A.A. Milne, from Winnie the Pooh.

Actually I have achieved a lot today, sitting here at my desk, attending to work that I have put off simply because it is way too boring. Even boring jobs have to be completed at some stage, and today I have managed to cross a few of those jobs off the list.

It hasn’t been all boring work though, not by any means. Do you remember a while ago I spoke about starting up something new, work-wise? Today I have registered my new business name, (it’s all so exciting!) and I have a very clear image of what I would like to achieve. When I have all the details in place I will tell you all about my new venture. It is going to take a while to set everything up and it will be continually evolving, but that’s just what I need right now, work that I enjoy, which changes and evolves, which I can do from home.

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โ€œTis the privilege of friendship to talk nonsense, and to have her nonsense respected.โ€~ Charles Lamb.

Since the weather has cooled down here in my part of the world I have been getting into some spring cleaning too. Yes, I know, it’s nearly winter here. Let’s just say I’m getting a head start. Honestly, by the time spring arrives, around about September, I’ll want to spend every spare moment out in the garden, not cleaning the house!

I’ve been doing a lot of forward planning lately, but for now, I’d better get back to The Jobs at Hand. If I concentrate on those jobs, without getting distracted by wondering how my blogging friends are getting on, I’ll get through the work much faster, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

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โ€œThere is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.โ€ ~ Linda Grayson.

These photos today show just a few of my regular feathered friends who have visited lately. So many new birds have appeared too! I have so many photos to show you all and will do so soon. We have some of the most unusual looking birds here in Australia, even I’ve been amazed by some of the new arrivals.

โ€œOrganization is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, itโ€™s not all mixed up.โ€~ A.A. Milne.

For now, I will get back to my organising, chores and planning. The sooner I get through these things, the sooner I’ll be back to regular catching up on my blog, and catching up with my blogging friends, which is a very happy place to be.

I just had a thought. I called my blog a distraction….perhaps it’s the jobs I have to get through that are actually the distractions, keeping me away from what I really want to do! Either that, or I’ve just been reading way too many Winnie the Pooh quotes….. ๐Ÿ™‚

autumn · happiness · inspiration · Mount Warning · music · old house · photography

Cee’s Share Your World, Weeks 19 and 20.

???????????????????????????????Signs of winter have crept into my part of the world this week and last night really was rather chilly indeed, with the temperature dropping down to around eleven degrees Celsius. Believe me, that’s quite cold for this area!

???????????????????????????????There are definite advantages to cool sunny days though and last night we were treated to another beautiful autumn sunset, so while I share my world by answering Cee’s questions for both weeks 19 and 20, I will also share last night’s sunset with you all. ๐Ÿ™‚

???????????????????????????????WEEK 19 ~

On a vacation what would you require in any place that you would stay? (This was a suggested question for Cee to ask, from my blogging friend Carol.)

Usually I have an automatic response to Cee’s questions, but I had to give this one some thought. Coffee making facilities came to mind, but I could go out for coffee, I can live without a television, easily, and all places you stay in have a bed….but what I really would dislike sharing is a bathroom. So that is my answer, I would require an adjoining bathroom in any place that I would stay on vacation.

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If you were or are a writer do you prefer writing short stories, poems or novels?
I don’t believe that I would have the patience to write a novel, but short stories I can do, and I enjoy writing them. When I think about it, every blog post I write is a short story really. I do enjoy reading, and writing poetry too, but short stories are top of the list.

???????????????????????????????Whatโ€™s your favorite song of the moment?

Oh that’s such an easy question to answer, it’s the song that is playing on constant repeat inside my head! The Australian version of The Voice is being shown in Australia right now, and one of my favourite contestants, Luke Kennedy, sang a duet of the song from Les Miserables, “I Dreamed a Dream”. It hasn’t left my head since that night! I’ve loved this song since I first heard it sung by Michael Crawford.

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If you were to buy a new house/apartment what is the top item on your wish list?

If I were to buy a new home, my number one criteria would be that it had to be old. I’ve always wanted to renovate an old home, a one hundred year old home would be ideal, and I would like to restore it to its former glory.

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Now onto Cee’s questions for WEEK 20 ~

Do you like winter, or not, and why?

Winter, oh how I love winter! I’m a cold climate girl. I grew up in The Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, where it actually snows during winter in some of the higher altitude towns. There are four definite seasons in the mountains, each with its own individual beauty, and during summer it doesn’t even get dreadfully hot. I love it!

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Are you a listener or talker?

Definitely a listener, especially when I first meet a new person and don’t know them very well. I think that everyone who knows me well would agree that I’m a very good listener, but I can talk once I get going too!

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What is your favorite juice or fruit drink?

Is there such a thing as chocolate juice? ๐Ÿ˜‰ There should be, but seeing as there isn’t, I think I would have to say pineapple juice. It’s a juice that I don’t drink often, but when I do, I love it.

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What do you have to be so happy about?

My four children. Sure, there are other things that make me happy (like beautiful sunsets!) a day at a time, but ask me any day, of any year, for the last twenty-eight years (‘coz that’s how long I’ve been a mother) what makes me happy, and I would consistently say my two sons and two daughters. They are the highlights of all of my life’s happiest days, and that’s every day.

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A Sense of Spirit · Australia · daughter · photography · son

Two Posts in One…or Two Countries…or Too Much?!

A church in New York.
A church in New York.

I really have no idea where the whole of last week went to. Do you suppose I could blame my broken down dishwasher for my lack of writing time? I could if I wanted to, but really, I’m still enjoying hand washing my cups, dishes and plates every night, and even though this spare part which is on order for the repairs has already taken double the estimated time to arrive, I’m in no hurry to hassle the repair guy to have it fixed. I’m finding dishwashing rather therapeutic at the end of a long day. ๐Ÿ™‚

The building of the new World Trade Centre.
The building of the new World Trade Centre.

I did spend a lot of time away from home last week actually, some time spent on work related events and some on pleasure, so while you look through the rest of the New York photos that my son Ben has given me to show you all, I will tell you about my pleasurable adventures.

Memorials at Gound Zero.
Memorials at Ground Zero.

I’ve said it before, but Ben really did enjoy his eight-day stay in New York City. I would rather like to go there myself one day, although eight days would be way too much time in the big city for this quiet blogger! Ben seemed to have been quite moved by his visit to the Ground Zero memorials and seeing the new building in progress there. He vividly remembers the unbelievable news hitting Australia on the morning of 9/11 as do we all.

New building against the blue spring skies.
New building against the blue spring skies.

So, back to last week. Ben and my eldest daughter Hayley had bought me a beautiful oil painting on canvas, about four years ago now, which required framing. An unnamed party had promised to have it framed for me, so the canvas had waited patiently on the shelf in my cupborad for four long years, waiting. With Mother’s Day approaching last Sunday, one day during the week Hayley had asked me if there was anything I could think of that I would specifically like to be given as a Mother’s Day gift.

9/11 Memorials.
9/11 Memorials.

Apparently (according to Hayley) I am a very easy person to buy for, as I like so many things and have so many interests! That’s good to know, as some people are absolutely impossible to please! So I gave her question some thought and soon remembered my lovely oil painting, awaiting a frame. Ben and Hayley are again going shares in this gift, but Hayley asked me if I would like to go with her to the framing shop to choose a frame that I would be happy with.

White roses.
White roses.

I suggested we make a lunch date of it, inviting my other daughter Emma to come along as well, so off the three of us went to see a man who Hayley had spoken to on the phone.

Choosing a frame for my lovely painting turned out to be quite the memorable experience. As a general rule, I take people as I find them, but I must admit that I found this picture framing shop proprietor to be just a tad, shall we say, over the top with his comments?

Firstly, he asked my daughter how much she had paid for the painting, rude to begin with, I thought, followed by, “I hope you didn’t pay any more than $20.00 for it”!!

Brooklyn Bridge.
Brooklyn Bridge.

Throughout the course of us choosing a frame, he managed to insult the colours of my home, explained to him by my girls in an effort to have him show us the desired coloured frames, and he also laughed profusely at his own jokes…..which I would describe as sarcastic comments rather than jokes.

So whilst The Obnoxious One guffawed away to himself, my girls and I had a great old time, ignoring him, and helping ourselves to various coloured frames which we sat beside the painting.

Bustling New York.
Bustling New York.

Digressing slightly, is the above photo Times Square, can anyone tell me? Ben and his mates were in Times Square one morning and were approached by someone giving away free tickets to the David Letterman Show. All they needed to do was answer some simple USA topical questions, which none of them knew the answers to being freshly arrived from Australia, so blatant hints were handed out, they won their three free tickets to the show and had a great time applauding throughout the show on queue and laughing loudly when requested!

Central Park.
Central Park.

Now, back to the framing shop, where my daughters and I had made our choice of frame, being ultimately my choice, although my daughters both agreed they could see it looking wonderful where I had told them both I would be hanging my painting. The Obnoxious One disagreed with my choice, adding, “You’ll probably end up having your own way, women usually do”…..okay, is it just me? Was that rude and insulting? Although I didn’t voice the words, I did think, “You’re darn tootin’ I’ll get my way!” Geeeezzzz……..

Central Park against the buildings of New York.
Central Park against the buildings of New York.

Between guffaws, The Obnoxious One did relate a very interesting story, of how he had taken a recent delivery of framed pictures from a deceased estate. Almost an entire family had been killed in an accident, with one remaining survivor, and the spirits of the deceased had helped him, he claimed, with frame choices since they arrived.

I wonder if the spirits had mentioned to him the old adage, “The customer is always right”? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Spring in Central Park.
Spring in Central Park.

Back to the USA, and here we are in Central Park. Ben told me that the park was positively huge, and they didn’t have the opportunity to cover the whole area. I had rather hoped he would find John Lennon’s memorial area of “Strawberry Fields”, but unfortunately not.

Apparently one day, a huge crowd was clustering in an area where a celebrity had arrived, causing great excitement in the area. It turned out to be Ricky Martin, who is this year one of the judges on the Australian version of “The Voice”, and what a very lovely man he seems to be too.

Looking over the water from Central Park.
Looking over the water from Central Park.

After stamping my foot in a most polite and woman-like fashion, getting my way and ordering my picture frame from The Obnoxious One, Hayley, Emma and I went back to Coolangatta for an alfresco lunch of sushi, just across the road from Coolangatta Beach. Emma passed me some chopsticks to eat my sushi with, followed by instructions on how to use them, telling me “It’s easy, mum!” I’m happy to say that most of the delicious sushi reached my mouth (apart from that one piece that dropped, then proceeded to fly across the table, nearly landing in Emma’s lap!)

Hmm….next time, I’m asking for a fork!

Katz's Delicatessan.
Katz’s Delicatessan, apparently a very famous deli in New York.

In other last-week-related-news, I decided to stop adding posts to one of my other blogs, “A Sense of Spirit”, not due to lack of interest, but rather because I am finding more and more that the posts I’m adding here at Home Life usually relate to spirit in some way anyway. It seems to me that the two blogs do not have separate purposes, so I have transferred all the content from “A Sense of Spirit” across to this blog, tagging all the posts with “A Sense of Spirit” for easy finding. Combining the two seemed like the sensible thing to do.

Wall Street.
Wall Street.

Ben’s last three photos here of Wall Street, the Stock Exchange and the Trump Building seem to me to be very “Ben-ified” places to visit. He is, and always has been fascinated by the workings of the stock market and is the most amazingly disciplined person with money that I have ever met in my life!

Not only is he first-rate when it comes to saving money, he can keep a secret like no one else I know. As a two year old, I would tell him, “Don’t let anyone know what their Christmas present is, it’s a surprise” and that boy wouldn’t breathe a word, not for any amount of coaxing in the world!

The Stock Exchange.
The Stock Exchange.

I seem to have waffled on a bit today, so hope I haven’t sent anyone to sleep with my ramblings.

Please do let me know if I have labeled any of Ben’s photos incorrectly. In the next leg of the trip, he and his mates headed south to Nashville and he loved it there too. I think it’s safe to say that Ben loved his trip to America.

The Trump Building.
The Trump Building.

Finally, here are the links to all the posts I have transferred across from “A Sense of Spirit”. Please do not feel obliged to read all or any of them, they are just here for anyone who may be interested. I do, however, recommend reading “The Optimist’s Creed”, very sage words indeed. I wish I had written them!

Believe in yourself.

The Optimist’s Creed.

A Chair to Remember.

Parting is such sweet sorrow.

The Souls we remain with throughout time.

A Synopsis of Spirituality.

The Car with Spirit.

Finding Uncle Albert.

A Bond that Lasts for Eternity.

Thoughts as I press my nose against the window of life.

Taking our own advice.

A Sense of Spirit · blessings · daughter · gratitude · Mum · son

Mother’s Day 2013.

Happy Mother's Day to my friends.
Happy Mother’s Day to my friends.

“The most precious jewels you will ever have around your neck
are the arms of your children.” ~ Unknown.

I write this the morning after Mother’s Day, on a cold and misty Monday morning here in Australia. There was no time for sitting at my desk yesterday, I was far too busy enjoying my four children, who all spent most of the day with me for Mother’s Day.

We enjoyed lunch together, ate way too much food, followed by cakes and coffee. My mother-in-law was here as well and the four of us girls chatted away together at the dinner table long after the meal had ended, while the boys watched football matches on the television.

What more could a mother ask?

If really pushed, I could answer that question in an instant ~ if I could have seen my own mother at the table with us, chatting with us as she so loved to do, oh, how wonderful that would have been.

I know she was here, I just couldn’t see her. She visits me often, I know, and I do talk to her, I just don’t hear her replies.

That’s the way it is though, with mother’s and their children, the bond lasts forever, nothing can ever part them, and we rejoice in the new generations whilst holding the past generations still very close to our hearts.

With the time differences throughout the world it may still be Mother’s Day in your part of the world as you read this now, and if so, I wish you the happiest of days filled with the love of your children in your heart. And even if, like me, you are too busy with your babies and are reading my wishes after the actual day, the wishes still remain. Don’t you think that every day is a very special day in the world, when we are the mother of someone?

I know I do.

So, from my heart to yours, I wish you the happiest days forever and always, days filled with the love of with being a mum. xxxxxx

My mum and me. This tiny doll stands at only three inches tall and was saved by my mum for many years after I had finished playing with it.
My mum and me. This tiny doll stands at only three inches tall and was saved by my mum for many years after I had finished playing with it.
chocolate · friends · inspiration · reading

Cee’s Share Your World ~ Week 18.

My indoors girl, fourteen year old Phoebe.
My indoors girl, fourteen year old Phoebe.

When my blogging friend Carol answers the questions to “Cee’s Share Your World” each week, I really enjoy reading what she has to say. Sometimes her responses are definite, usually they sound as though she is thinking out loud as she comes up with her answers, and they are absolutely always fun to read! After Carol has shared just a little bit more about her world, at her blog “Wanderings of an Elusive Mind”, I realise that through her simple replies to Cee’s random questions, I have got to know Carol just that little bit better.

For quite a while now I have been “bumping into” Cee around the blogging world and have often thought I would like to join in with Share Your World. This morning, after seeing the questions and reading Carol’s answers, I have decided that today is the day, no more procrastinating. I’m not sure when the “week” begins and ends for Cee, so I’m assuming that Week 18 began on the day that Cee added her post with the questions, which was Monday, April 29th, allowing me a couple of days still to join in. If I have the rules wrong, I do hope that Cee will set me straight.

So here goes ~

What is your favorite animal?

Oh, that is an easy question. Even though I love many different animals, my ultimate favourite is most definitely cats. During my entire life, I think I have only been without a cat (or cats) in my world for a total of three years. To me, a house is not a home without at least one cat to share it with. My children have often joked that as I grow older, I will probably become the crazy cat woman, with cats all over the house. You may be right, kids! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Miss Tibbs enjoying the sun this morning.
Miss Tibbs enjoying the sun this morning.

What is your favorite comfort snack food?

Chocolate! No question about it. And if the chocolate is dark (my latest delicious discovery), coffee or mint flavoured (or both!) all the better. ๐Ÿ™‚

What subject would you like to study in depth, if given the time to do so?

Linguistics and English literature. I love reading, books, crosswords, the context and meanings of words, the written word. I even love pens, pencils and paper, being the instruments with which to write those words. And when computers and the internet became readily available, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven! Words and writing fascinate me, I love written communication of any kind and I enjoy the play of the meanings and context that words can be used in. Gee, I could write a blog post for that answer!

Just one of the many bookcases in my home.
Just one of the many bookcases in my home.

What object do you always have with you when traveling and why?

It took me a minute to think about that. My initial response was a camera, although thinking back, I haven’t always owned a camera. So, when I cast my mind back and thought about what it is that I always place in my packing pile first, when preparing to travel, it’s a book, or books. I have never in my entire life travelled without a book. Why? I can’t travel with my cat! Cats and books are my two absolute essentials in life.

Well that was fun, thanks Cee! Now I’m wondering why it has taken me so long to Share my World. ๐Ÿ™‚