Monday, April 30, 2012

The Power of Words

There's a lot going on in my head at the moment which sure makes the drive to work go a lot quicker and my day for that matter. I found this poem below on Inger-M's blog from a writing prompt that she has done and they seemed quite appropriate for how I feel.

Because sometimes...another person's words can more accurately reflect what you think and feel.

Time to Heal

Sometimes it is necessary

to move away from the main stream.

To seek solitude, to recharge

without the influence of others.

Sometimes it is vital

to avoid distractions in order to

maintain harmony and balance.

To restore inner calm so I can hear myself think.

So I can recognize who I am.

So I can create who I want to be.

So I can be healed.

Here's to all of us having some solitude to recharge and heal ourselves. Have a great week everyone.
Cheers, Fi

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Coloured view of the world...

Everything is only as good as you perceive it to be at any one given time.

Some days everything can seem rosy and happy and other days it can seem dismal and concerning, yet nothing has changed except for the date, oh and how I look at things of course.

Today was one of those days where I got on my high horse, worried about a few too many things and generally felt miserable as a result. All of this worry and stress always leads back to a common theme. I let others words and behaviour influence how I feel.

Now onto things that have a potential to make me smile -

My furkid has demon blood today. She's suddenly decided that the pond weed from the fish pond is fun to drag out of the pond and put all over the back verandah. Arrrggghhh! I guess the positive in this is that she's not yet grabbing the goldfish out of the pond. I draw the line at that one.

I'm reading Brenda's latest novel to be released called 'Skewered Halo' in preparation for her online blogging party tomorrow, or is is the day after. Depends which country you're in I guess. I better make sure I have my days correct. I read 167 pages in one sitting because 1) I read quickly and 2) It's a good storyline.

We sold the car yesterday, that's 1 down and 1 more to go. We might soon resemble a 'normal' family with only as many cars as we have drivers instead of resembling a car yard. That is until hubby finds another few cars to purchase. Although now he's on the subject of stationary motors again and is off to a field day next weekend. Can't wait!

I'm sussing out job advertisements to get a feel for what is out there. I'm fighting that feeling that perhaps I need to be spreading my wings, the thought that I may not be utilising my full ability is niggling in the back of my mind. Okay it's slapping me in the back of the head, not just niggling.

I think the problem stems from having moved up the ranks in a company that you've been with for quite a length of time and having a bit of a 'coloured' view of everything. That and a boss who says that I have rose-coloured glasses on regarding managers fulfilling their responsibilities.

It's hard to fight my belief that if a manager is paid damn good money to do a job then he / she should be doing it. I think it's almost time for fresh and new and exciting, and a company which is a little bit more progressive in its thinking. No drastic moves at this stage but I'm open to possibilities for sure.

So as always, tomorrow is another day and my perception on life is anything I make it. Hope you've had a positive weekend.

Cheers, Fi

Anybody who's ever gone through a hard time - any outsider's perception, no matter how much information they're given, they have no idea what the person's life is like. ~ Amy Grant

Visualise Abundance - on Facebook

Saturday, April 28, 2012

BlogHer 'Voices of the Year'

I've entered one of my posts for the BlogHer 12 Voices of the Year because Eden told me to, well that and because you'll never, never know if you never, never give it a go.

 I'd love it if you voted for me here and you also have until Monday 5pm US time to submit your own entry or nominate someone elses post on the BlogHer website.

Anyone can enter this competition with a blog post from the last 12 months (yours or someone elses who you want to nominate) and this gives you the opportunity to read it out at a BlogHer conference.

Who would turn down an opportunity to meet fabulous fellow bloggers and learn kazillions of amazing new things. Anyway it seems that the one thing I can speak with authority on and have extensive experience in, is being the mother of teenage boys.

Of course it's no picnic, it's not even much fun some days, but most days it gives my life meaning, I entered my post called 'The mysteries of the teenage boy brain' which I wrote during a particularly bad stage of my mothering career last year.

Who knows, maybe one day I'll meet some of you at a BlogHer conference.

Cheers, Fi

6WS - Mama's heart does a little jig

I worry about my children a lot, but I don't think I'm alone in that regard. My oldest child causes me the greatest stress and worry for many reasons, but also possibly because he's the only one not living at home. Not sure where that leaves me when they all move out of home!

My greatest joy always comes when things are going well in my boys lives, when they're happy, healthy and smiling - all three of them, which is a task in itself. Speaking to the oldest last night and knowing that he's doing okay and that all is well in his life at the moment is always reassuring for my mama's heart.

My mum received an email and shared the message below with me recently and it reminded me of some of the more important things in life. I've only included the first ten - if you want to see all of them - this is the link to the website. Numbers 14 and 35 are my favourites and it's worth reading them all.

An Angel says, 'Never borrow from the future. If you worry about what may happen tomorrow and it doesn't happen, you have worried in vain. Even if it does happen, you have to worry twice.'

1. Pray
2. Go to bed on time. 
3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.
4. Say No to projects that won't fit into your time schedule, or that will compromise your mental health.
5. Delegate tasks to capable others. 

6. Simplify and unclutter your life. 
7. Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.) 
8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.
9. Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don't lump the hard things all together. 
10. Take one day at a time.

Hope you enjoyed the messages as much as I did

Cheers, Fi

Friday, April 27, 2012

It's a small world

...and sometimes you don't realise just how small the world is. But first I have to provide you with some history before I tell you why it's a small world.

Once upon a time (don't you just love cliches) I started working in a factory, I was young and immature, okay so I wasn't young in years on this earth, just in working brain maturity, in fact it was only eleven years ago.

The group of girls I began working with were 'tight' with a capital T; there was a rhythm and a pattern to their work routine and I was the outsider who also just happened to be neighbours with the boss and had gotten the job as a result.

For any of those girls reading this post... bear with me, this story is from my perspective okay.

It was hard to fit in, going from stay-at-home mum to factory worker - but money in my pocket was my driving motivation and not making friends or influencing people. I clashed with most of them but one of them especially - we had those sort of screaming knock down matches that teenagers have (only we didn't have that teenager excuse for our bad behaviour)

Anyway, this story could go on for years but I'll spare you the pain. Suffice to say there were many divisions amongst that group and at times I felt like I had only one friend through it all. She had started at the same time as me and we sided against the forces. She left under pretty bad circumstances and then I felt like I was thrown to the wolves and on my own so to speak.

How pathetically teenagerish does this sound!

With no back up support, it was a case of either keep fighting my 'rival' alone or join the hordes. I'm not even sure what my main rival and I used to disagree about or argue for. See how important it was? I think it was more the third party in this work group who fueled the fire and once she left it got better. Maybe with no back up support I got better and made more of an effort - who knows?

We laugh about it alot because one of my greatest supporters is now that main rival and she's also my yoga buddy and we often laugh about our stupid behaviour 'in our younger years'.

Now how small a world is it...... I went to the chiropractor last night in one of our cars which hubby has finally put a for sale sign on. I walked out of the chiropractor and the woman who had been in front of me in the chiro questioned me about the car and said she had a friend looking for a car and could she take some photos to send her.

This woman's friend then rang my hubby from the number on the car in the photo and low and behold she is that former third party and former friend from my old work. I haven't seen or heard from her in ten years. I'm not altogether sure I want to either - her departure from work was not under the best of circumstances and the boss who moved her on is still my next door neighbour.

It sure is a small, small world!

Cheers, Fi

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dream a little dream...

'A Dream Home Abroad' - the title of this television program says it all doesn't it? I only discovered this show last week and I watched with some envy as a couple restored a huge Spanish property.

This week they're in Tuscany with a new couple who are restoring a farmhouse on several acres in the hills just outside the town of Pisa.

We're talking massive and extensive restorations which cost an absolute packet of cash but oh boy are the results absolutely amazing.

It seems to be a fairly stressful process and of course it makes better television viewing for there to be lots of dramas but it does make you stop, dream and wonder.

It also prompts Google searches for farmhouses in Tuscany as well as discovering all of the fabulous 'Living in Tuscany' blogs.

Can't you just see me sitting on the verandah of a farmhouse in Tuscany, sipping on a nice glass of wine and writing my best selling novel. I could be snacking on olives, fresh bread and cheeses and looking out over the hills and valleys. Probably a bit fanciful because I don't actually like drinking wine but it fits with the dream.

perhaps with views like this of the Tuscany countryside
and food like this - mmm not so good for the waistline though
It's always been one of my dreams to visit Tuscany. In my mind it's a place full of romance and culture with amazingly creative and talented people and scrumptious food. I'm an olive and cheese girl from way back - that's Italian fare isn't it?

Have any of you seen the movie Mamma Mia with Meryl Streep - now I could also handle something like the home she has in the Greek Islands, it's actually on an island as well. I guess in general I've always favoured the Mediterranean culture, the food, the countryside and the people.

What about you - money and logistics aside. If you could live anywhere in the world, what appeals to you the most and why?

Cheers, Fi

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them ~ Walt Disney

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Got my thinking cap on

By the time I actually get here most nights I've usually written several posts in my head, lost interest in them and then moved on. Most of that writing in my head occurs on my lengthy drive to and from work each day.

There are insistent ideas and thoughts which usually will make it onto the blog page when I arrive at work in the morning and before I have time to work them to death and rip them apart in my mind. I am after all my own toughest critic.

Some nights all of the ideas have swirled into one big mess and I end up posting a mish mash or a brain dump of all of them. Tonight is going to be a brain dump post but along the lines of my intangible discoveries this week.
  1. I'm an enabler, I enable lazy behaviour in my family because it's often not worth the fight or the confrontation to combat it. I need to be tougher with those that I enable.
  2. Laughter is refreshing for the soul - watching a drag queen do a yodelling performance on Australia's Got Talent will get me chuckling every time. 
  3. Yoga is the best thing ever invented, especially when you don't watch where you're walking and fall down a step in high heels and jar your back.
  4. Blogging is everywhere - even my favourite show on Aussie television now has a main character who has started a blog and become a paid newspaper columist as a result of her popularity - see there's hope for me yet. In tonights episode she's struggling to come up with an idea for her first column so she writes about all the things she does to avoid writing the column. A brain dump column perhaps ????
  5. Be prepared before you need to be prepared - tonight I updated my resume, I'm listening to my intuition - not because I fear losing my job but because sometimes it just pays to be prepared.
  6. Expectations can bring you unstuck - both professionally and personally, but so too can over thinking things.
  7. A sense of humour makes anything possible and helps you cope with most of the things that get thrown at you.
  8. Our cat began sitting on the back outdoor table so that Molly (our new puppy) couldn't get her, now the dog thinks she's a cat and sits on the table too.
So what have you discovered this week?

Cheers, Fi

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most dificult thing in the world ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sundays are my favourite days

... and all is good in my world again. I love relaxing Sundays at home when I can catch up on my housework, cook something yummy and nourishing for dinner (as opposed to fast and somewhat tasty when we're pushed for time during the week) and also get up to date on everything.

You know all those things that are small in doing but mount up when you've been busy - the bill paying, signing sons school diary, choosing which photos I want from the school, helping middle son fill out electoral forms - etc etc.

Electoral forms - yes that's when you know you're getting old, when your second oldest is almost old enough to vote. But everything is done!

I took furkid to the beach this morning for a nice relaxing walk to help prevent her sulking. It's meant to rain all week, it was meant to rain today - and it did, this afternoon. This morning it was sunny and beautiful, albeit windy at the beach.

No bother to us, because it meant the section of dog beach where we walk was totally empty. It's quite relaxing walking on the beach with crashing waves, the wind in your face and the sun on your face....and no-one in sight.

This is where we walk - Port Noarlunga Beach
which leads to here - the mouth of the Onkaparinga River (Image Credit)
Pretty nice for a dog beach huh? These are not my photos - I forgot my camera, which is why there are people in the pics and not a wave to be seen. But you get the idea right - it's beautiful.

Molly (yes furkid has a name which I don't refer to often enough here) was content to trot along beside me and then would have moments of craziness when she would tear along the sand picking up every piece of cuttlefish she could find.

Normally we take her in the water and she loves the water, just not the waves so much. Today it was a bit cool, so we settled for just feet in the water - hers and mine. It's roughly about a 2km walk to the river mouth and back to the carpark, by then she's sitting down and she's had enough. She's only a baby after all.

I'd like more Sundays in my week, unfortunately it's back to work tomorrow.

Everyone in our immediate group at work is on annual leave this week, the boss and I had extra days off over the Easter break so we're manning the fort this week which means plenty of peace and quiet to make some steady progress. Wednesday is a public holiday - so two days in the office, a day off and then another two days. Hopefully it makes the week go faster.

Hope you've had a relaxing weekend

Cheers, Fi

It's the natural addiction: warmth on chilly nights, innocence on Sunday afternoons, the essence of hearth, home and blissful abandon ~ Patricia Linden

Saturday, April 21, 2012

6WS - It's been such a huge week

There's not been many weeks since I started writing this blog that I've let quite so many days go by when I haven't written. Most times it's been because I've been busy not because I simply couldn't be bothered.

This week has been a big one at work - change management training and action planning for the coming two years and a lot of 'aha' moments as we watched many of our HR Managers actually realise just what sort of challenges we have in front of us.

There's days when the road ahead seems quite daunting and scary. Life is a bit like that as well - when you look at the big picture it can seem kinda out of reach. So while you have to be able to envisage the big picture, you also have to be able to take a step back and just look at the here and now and take the baby steps.

Project work is really wierd because you have such bursts of activity and stress and then lulls of quiet time - it's like riding a roller coaster and just knowing you have to hold on because you don't know when the quiet times will suddenly end. It's also an exhausting way of working.

There must be something in the air at the moment, is it a full moon, new moon - I don't know but everyone seems a little weird. The dog has been sulking today because she didn't get to go to the beach - rain is not conducive to walking on the beach, nor is shopping and the kazillion other things I had to get done today.

She chewed up her harness for the car and hubby's thongs today ~ grin ~ hubby has been 'painful' in the last 24 hours so I'm thinking maybe she's even smarter than I thought and she's kicking his butt for me.

Him and his mates are having a night of blasting music and being loud and rowdy - so not being able to hear the television is annoying. Can't even rely on the neighbour to complain because he's a part of it.

Grandson stayed last night and was awake for an hour during the night, this is the baby who has been sleeping all night since 9 weeks old, so that was a little bit disconcerting as well. Not what I needed after such a huge week, but you get that. I was up early for football with the youngest this morning so I had a nice little nanna nap this arvo.

Rainy days and nanna naps - these are two of my favourite things in the world, partly because they go together so well.

Thank you Brenda for the reminder and the mention, I'll be dropping by and maybe you all should stop by for a peek at what she's doing with the launch of her newest book 'Skewered Halo'. A real published writer not a 'wanna be' so I have to smooze and hope that some of her awesomeness rubs off.

Cheers all and apologies for the extended rambling tonight - I think I needed some unload time after the week I've had. The music and ruckus from the shed has suddenly gone quiet - my ESP which is shouting 'shut up' is finally working.

Have a great week, Fi

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

This is my Discovery Channel

I was driving to work this morning and minding my own business - lost in my own thoughts and following a small two door hatchback car. I was actually contemplating what I'm not happy with in my life and what I need to do to change the things that I'm not happy with. It's a long drive after all and lots of thinking time.

We were stopped at traffic lights to turn right when all of a sudden this person in the car in front of me decided that there was enough room for them to turn directly in front of the double semi trailer coming in the opposite direction.

No, I'm not going to tell you a gruesome car accident story (aren't you glad) because the driver of the hatchback made it with a hairs width between him / her and the truck. The truck driver didn't even attempt to brake it was that close. I was certain he was going to hit the car to the extent that I'm sure my heart actually stopped and my hands actually did fly up to my face in horror.

It was only after this near miss in front of me that I realised that had the truck hit the car it probably would have slammed the car back into me and it would have been 'messy'. Real messy. It made me wild with the driver of the car, not to mention that it took me several moments for my heart to restart. I can only imagine how the truck driver felt as he continued down the road.

What's my point for telling this story - nothing earth shattering, I just wanted to share my own terror. It also made me realise that some people must have hard working guardian angels watching over them. I believe we are all here for a purpose, some of us are gone way too quick, some of us defy all odds and near misses to go on and do what we were put on this earth to do.

I want to count, I want to make a difference, I'm just not sure what I'm here for yet. My little near miss reminded me this morning that life is tenuous, we have to keep cranking the handle and moving along. As Louise put it this morning in her post - 'there's no going back'. We have to keep moving onward and upward and discovering what we're really here for.

Our purpose doesn't need to be earth shattering or ground breaking, it just needs to be right for us. So have you discovered 'why you're here yet?'

A week of change management training this week is really causing me to stop, look and discover - about me and about those around me. It's going to be an interesting week. Hope yours is also one of discovery.

Cheers, Fi

People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates ~ Thomas Szasz

Monday, April 16, 2012

Some people get it very wrong...

My 400th post is rolling off the line today everybody. Cue the virtual drumroll and fanfare. For my faithful followers thanks for hanging around and to all newcomers - welcome, please stay a while.

I know that I should also be rolling out the cupcakes and the thinly sliced cucumber sandwiches (in an effort to be stylish - which I'm not) so hang it - who's really got time for all that shit. I'm here and that's about the best of it.

As I muse about my blogging time over the last 18 months, I realise that I've met some inspiring people, I've discovered a real writing community and I've also seen spitefulness and ignorance at it's worst. The biggie though, I've come to love the brutal honesty of the blogosphere, the realism.

Even more so after reading the silent hatchet job that a certain journalist did on Eden Riley from Edenland in the Sunday newspapers yesterday. Silly, patronising article by an even more stupid woman who didn't have her facts straight about Eden or other bloggers featured in the article and who also spoke with condescension about bloggers.

Little tip love, this is akin to professional suicide when you don't get your facts straight - if you're going to write such a shocker of an article it pays to get your information right. You have also quite literally buried yourself because in case you hadn't realised it - social media is the future and Eden and the other three mentioned bloggers popularity through all of them surpasses your ignorance. Quite simply, tonight your name is mud with a capital M.

Can't believe the contrast between yesterdays post about a blogger being slammed via comments and this one who has literally hundreds supporting her through the comments section. There is indeed power in the blogging world.

Never underestimate the power of social media nor the following of 'mummy bloggers' across the world. If you want something known, want something made popular - then get social media to do it for you, at the same time if you get your facts wrong, or bag someone online then the entire world will also know all about it.

On a final note - last week at work was three days of holidays and two days of dragging boredom. This week is one day of chasing my tail getting prepared and then four days of change management training and action planning workshops, so really no time for cupcakes and dainty sandwiches anyway. Plus the boss is out sick which is not too good either.

My parting reminder - never write what you don't know and make sure your facts are 'factual'

Cheers, Fi

Facts are many, but the truth is one ~ Rabindranath Tagore

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Drama belongs in the movies, not real life

Some people love drama. They love making something out of nothing or making others miserable with their bitchy comments and their own self importance - like they know best. It frustrates the hell out of me.

Along the same line, why do others take pleasure in stirring someone else up? Doing and saying things to push buttons and cause drama. Angry words, spiteful actions - is this all to boost ones ego or build their own self importance? I'm not sure.

It's totally beyond me why people deliberately do these sorts of things. Engage in this petty, small minded behaviour.

Wake up - life is too short!!!!!

Around the world every day, people are starving, succumbing to life threatening diseases, dying in accidents. Why waste time creating drama and making others lives miserable? Get a life, start living and then causing drama won't seem quite as important.

This is far removed from what I was going to write about tonight but then I read something, dealt with something of my own and it all got me to wondering why people feel the need to judge, interfere or simply be spiteful.

I've recently started following a blog who's writer is going through some tough times and I understand once you put it out there then you leave yourself open to judgement and 'advice', but holy cow there's some extremely judgemental and spiteful people in this world. Most of them must read her blog and I wonder why you would put up with it.

No person should have to justify their life, their actions or their thoughts. Unless you've physically harming another, doing someing illegal or amoral then everyone else should respectfully butt out. Actually just bugger off is a better way of putting it without offending my mother.

My life has had its share of drama so I will take quiet, peaceful and normal any day. I hate fighting, I hate disharmony, I hate conflict and as much as I will stand up for someone who I feel has been wronged, I would never in a million years be spiteful or do / say something to deliberately upset or hurt another person.

For the record, tonight I was going to write about painting and singing and how I wish I had an inate talent to do both of these - but maybe that's another post.

Hope you've all had a delightful weekend - mine was sunny weather and good times with friends and family. Best kind of weekend and no time for pettiness and spitefulness. Living life people!

Cheers, Fi

The world perishes not from bandits and fires, but from hatred, hostility, and all these petty squabbles ~ Anton Chekhov

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Today is life...not tomorrow

I heard you all loud and clear when you said (shouted) for me to dig the novel out of the bottom drawer and do something with it. I have final edits to be done and then I WILL do something with it. I guess the final kick in the pants came from the universe this morning when I got to work.

One of the consultants who we worked with in the early stages prior to us getting Board approval for the project, has had a heart attack and is currently in hospital.

She’s a thirty-five year old mother of two, fit, healthy and no known prior medical problems. We don’t know the full facts other than she’s been working a crazy amount of hours lately.

Boy, it does make you stop and realise just how fragile life really is. The reality is that if you wait until tomorrow to do something – tomorrow may never come.

My relaxing few days in the Riverland got me thinking more on what I really value and what I need to focus on more. Then there were all your amazing comments and that was followed up with the news this morning. Don’t sit back and wait.
For the record, I did also start writing the new story yesterday; the ideas which I awoke with were tumbling over themselves to get out on the screen. Much like an avalanche of words and ideas, so I’ll continue working with them as well. I’ve discovered that I’m very much a pantser sort of a writer, not a planner.

I fly by the seat of my pants in other words – I can’t plan or structure what I write because I lose my inspiration. I have to go where the characters and story take me, although sometimes they lead me astray and I need to rein them in and back track occasionally. Strong irony here, given that in my normal everyday life I’m a planner and a list maker
So I’m focused on the more important things I want to achieve and here’s something I found which seemed quite apt given what I’m posting about today. It’s from the Living or Surviving website and it’s called ‘How to find time for yourself’

So I hope you all remember to;
1.    Find time for yourself
2.    Tell your loved ones what they mean to you
3.    Work towards achieving your goals
Today… not tomorrow

Cheers, Fi
Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Reach for the stars...because you can

When the universe tries to give you a poke from several directions you realise you probably should be listening. Two different bloggers have had a poke at me this week (they don't know me) but they've told me off.

One was talking about "How to stop procrastinating about your writing" so I'm sure she's inside my head. The other was talking about "The secret to your next creative breakthrough" and I'm sure he could read my mind also when he writes about something having to give, to make a breakthrough possible.

Okay the reality is they have no idea who I am or what my little ol' blog has to say or even about my secret wish to be a writer and make a difference. But as is the case the universe is conspiring to kick my butt and make me do something other than just spout hot air about what I want to do.

The final poke from the universe was being woken by my son's alarm clock this morning (keeping in mind that today is a holiday for me and I didn't need to be awake at 6am - arrggghh) and then laying awake for an hour with a new storyline swirling through my head and preventing me from going back to sleep.

But.......I'm still procrastinating because this morning in the 2 hours I've been up, I've set up my Pinterest account, I've watched Eden from Edenland blogging fame on the Channel 10 morning show talking about her recent trip to Africa for Worldvision and now I'm writing this post. I am a hopeless case.

I'm not sure why this is the case. I can be determined and focussed on any goal I set when I want to be. Nine months of non-smoking or six years of university study are proof of that. Once I start writing it just flows and I wonder why I don't do more of it. Maybe I'm better at talking about it than actually doing it.

My first novel - yep it's still sitting in the drawer. Is it perhaps because I fear rejection of something that is really, really important to me? Probably.

The ideas are still swirling so I must write them down because they're so insistent. I will go and I will write - for today anyway.

What do you want so badly but keep skirting around actually doing?

This week I'm linking up with Erica at Yeah Write - I haven't linked up for the longest time, but decided it was about time - you can too by clicking on the image below.

Cheers, Fi

The best way to get something done is to begin ~ Author Unknown

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It's a dogs life....

Image credit
We're home safe and sound - the furkid and I. Not sure why the drive home always seem shorter than the drive to somewhere. Four hours driving is still four hours driving but it always goes faster coming home.

I arrived home to a clean house, freshly stocked pantry and fridge, and all the washing done and folded. What the......???

Did aliens come and change places with my family? It's nice to know that they can survive without me and that they do make an effort while I'm gone.

Hubby also had a nice big pot of homemade vegetable soup bubbling away on the stove as well. Life is good. All their good work means that my last day of holidays tomorrow can be spent doing what I want to do and not cleaning and food shopping - woohoo!

Check out the furkid, she is so good in the car - this is how she spent four hours on the way home today ~ grin ~

It's hard having my family so far away, but it makes visits fun. How about you, are your family members close or far away and do you see them often?

Cheers, Fi

Note: I went to check that the furkid was in her bed before I turned the outside lights off and look what I found - one of my boys has snuggled her up in her bed with her blanket and toys. Do you think they missed her? I'm thinking the dogs life is a pretty good way of life in this household.

I don't care how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich ~ Dan Wilcox

Monday, April 9, 2012

Too slow to be a trendsetter

I was going to spare you the pain of my rambling tonight, but then you know how it is? I can change my mind. It's almost 11 and everyone is tucked up in bed except for me, my afternoon nana nap has given me wings. I'm heading home tomorrow, so the end of nana naps and stress free days is nearing.

I've had plenty of time the last few days to read, write and catch up on all my saved items that I've found around the Net and have not had time to read. I'm also keen on finding out more about Pinterest and I remembered that the owner of one of the blogs I visit regularly has got onto the site and had written about it recently.

I'm not sure if there's such a thing as blogging etiquette (I possibly break the rules) but I asked for an invite anyway because that's the only way to get on there. As if that's going to keep the riff raff out just by making you invite people and not having it as a free-for-all.

Then I visited another one of my favourite blogs tonight and realise that she's on there too (didn't even realise Jenn) So the long and short - can someone give me an invite to Pinterest and if there's any hard fast rules please share and save me some of the 'newbie' pain (or point me to where I can learn more)

Days of doing nothing but relaxing have a way of clearing your head and getting you back on track. We all should have days like this. I've missed my family heaps but have thoroughly enjoyed this quality time with my parents.

I caught up with my brother and sister-in-law tonight and had tea with them. They've been away camping for the Easter weekend and while I caught up with them on Friday, it was nice to see them and my nephew tonight before I go home. I wish sometimes that we didn't live quite so far away.

The next time I see them will be when their baby is born in August, another sweet little niece or nephew to welcome into our family. Can't wait, I do so love babies.

Well this is my last post from the Riverland, it's back to the real world tomorrow. I would love if anyone has any tips or opinions to share about Pinterest.

Cheers, Fi

Stress is the trash of modern life - we all generate it but if you don't dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life ~ Danzae Pace

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Twenty five years too early for retirement

It's very quiet in the bloggy world this weekend, could it have something to do with Easter perhaps? Today was Day 3 of doing very little other than resting and relaxing and having some quality time with my mum and dad.

We went to the markets in Barmera this morning. I love country markets with their fresh fruit and vegies, down-to-earth people and all the country style crafty goods that people make. It's not commercialised like the city. Can you tell I'm a lover of country life?

Have you also noticed how laid back and calm country life is compared to city life? I've totally slipped into my mum and dads pace of life. That's retirement pace - 25 years ahead of when I need to be at retired pace.

Each day we have early breakfast (I'm waking at the crack of dawn from habit and the change back from daylight savings) and then mum and I take the dogs for a romp in the front yard. My sweet and innocent little girl becomes a big bully and beats up on my parents' placid, even-tempered spaniel, but they chase around after each other like idiots. Actually much like toddlers with attitude (my dog anyway)

Then we (being the people we) usually all jump in the car and go for a drive to explore, come back for lunch and then spend some time with the dogs out in the front yard. Mum and dad have a fenced area at the back of the house for the animals but the remainder of their 'country size' block is all unfenced. Lots of garden, lawned areas and an orchard down the side of the property, so the dogs have plenty of space to romp and play.

Then I do some reading and writing, have a little afternoon nanna nap and then I take my dog for a nice relaxing stroll along the river. Well until she sits down and refuses to walk any further, she is after all a baby and when she's had enough she refuses to walk any more. Nothing like a stubborn female.

Then mum and I cook dinner together and then both spend some time online, or reading and writing. Final romp with the dogs before lights out for them at bedtime. Then I spend some more time catching up on my reading and writing before I too crawl into bed and sleep like the living dead. I've said it before - this doing nothing is exhausting work.

I'm sure this 'retired' pace would wear thin for me after a while but boy is it appreciated and needed at the moment. I'm feeling quite chilled out and relaxed.

Back to the real world the day after tomorrow, so we'll see how long it lasts then. So, what has your weekend been like?

Cheers, Fi

Give your stress wings and let it fly away. ~ Terri Guillemets

Saturday, April 7, 2012

6WS - Playing tourist today with my parents

I don't very often get the chance to play tourist when we go away on holidays. You know the 'boring' things like stopping at lookouts, long walks along the riverbank - smelling the roses so to speak. Hubby and the boys get too impatient...but when you go visiting to mum and dad's on your own, then it's entirely possible.

Here's what I saw today ...

Following our tourist activities, Mum and I did some leisurely shopping, had some lunch and then I had an afternoon 'nanna nap'. I didn't realise how much I needed a nice relaxing few days.

Late this afternoon I took the furkid for a drive and a walk along the river, someone has to do the relaxing things after all. So what are you up to over the Easter break?

Cheers, Fi

Friday, April 6, 2012

My head is held high

Rest and relaxation is so exhausting. My first day of holidaying in the Riverland and I'm ready for bed at 8.35. What did I do today that was so exhausting - I sat by the river and chatted with my family all afternoon. Mmmm tiring work.

The furkid was an absolute dream in the car coming up, she slept the entire four hour drive curled up on the front seat. Sure we stopped a couple of times and she got out and walked around, but she was perfect. In fact she could probably teach my children a thing or two about long distance travel and behaving oneself.

The boys and dad are all at home manning the fort - hopefully they're all playing nice. I read a post on World Moms Blog tonight about living in India and I've decided this could be the country that is waiting for my arrival. My reasons are;
  1. Sons are the income generator in the family and care for the aged parents (so they should, I need payback on my children)
  2. Sons are the progeny, they are responsible for family continuity (yes I love being a nani, so this suits me)
  3. To say one has a son rather than a daughter has an air of greater dignity amongst friends and relatives, it ensures a stronger hold on the society and helps one live with 'his head held high'. (My head is so high with self-importance thaat I'm walking in the clouds - Kidding!!)
So there you go, if I moved to India I would be worshipped and revered for having three boys. Mind you, as a female I would also have few rights in a country where females are viewed as liabilities and sons are assets. I would also have to live in the same house as my in-laws because it's expected that the son looks after his aged parents under his own roof.

On second thoughts, maybe I'll stay in Oz because as much as I love my in-laws, I know I couldn't live with them, I much prefer they're in their own house down the hill.

8.49 and my eyes keep closing - I'm feeling like an old, old lady today. I think maybe I might take myself off to bed.

Hope your Easter break is a good one

Cheers, Fi

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Be real, be yourself...

I regularly read a blog who's owner (Eden from Edenland) is living my dream life and yet I can't begrudge her or be envious of what has led her to be the person she is.

She's currently in Africa for World Vision, last year she went to the US for Blogher and then to Thailand - all expenses paid trips to talk about what she does and why she does it - 'it' being blogging.

The qualities I do envy are her ability to be so natural, rude, earthy and downright honest. She's not afraid to let it all hang out. I know that I can never be that 'out there'. She has a heart of gold and she cares so much about those who need it most. Yet her life has been dark and she has so many skeletons in her past that she probably needs a room to store them all in and not just a cupboard.

Her brutal honesty and lack of confidence in herself makes her both shocking and endearing at the same time. She gets people; from the down and out hobos and drunks in the street, to the no-hopers and addicts. She's lived a hard life and that's what makes her who she is  - yet no person would ever willingly choose to have those experiences.

We all have our own individual reasons for blogging, our own version of ourselves that we share with our readers. For some; it's purely a release, some choose to make a living from it, some use it to try and make a difference.

My blogging has always been about having a voice, about releasing the maelestrom of swirling thoughts (and lots of rubbish) that fills my head. It's about giving the writer in me an outlet. I've never considered it as a way to make a difference, I never thought I could. How limiting can our thoughts be when we give them free rein?

Every day I discover more about me and more about those around me. I see qualities I respect and admire and others which make me cringe in horror  which shake me up and make me realise I don't want to be like that - ever.

So I guess my aim is to provide a reminder that we all need to be more real, be more honest and be our best selves - because after all we are who we are. (Try and say that last bit quickly)

Cheers, Fi

Be what you are.  This is the first step toward becoming better than you are ~ Julius Charles Hare

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not ~ Andre Gide

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Trust the Universe's Plan

Do you ever feel like if you actually verbalise something then it won't happen. It's up there with not stepping on cracks and doing things in a particular order with the belief that if you don't then something bad will happen. Once upon a time I used to beat myself up with thoughts like this.

I believe we all suffer from moments of obsessive compulsiveness at some stage of our lives, all of mine used to be a part of my anxiety (many moons ago). Having recently discovered yoga, I wish I had of used it years ago when relaxation and a need to de-stress was important in my getting past my anxiety.
Image Credit
These days I am confident enough and strong enough to realise that I can throw my thoughts out to the universe and trust that what will be... will be.

I  know that I'm not powerful enough to make things happen just because I verbalise them or do things a certain way.

What this line of thought really partly stems from is that hubby has finally acknowledged that I can take the new 'furkid' when I go away for Easter. Yay!

Not that I ever doubted it, I was taking her one way or the other, but we'll let him believe that he was in control of the situation.

I still had that split second moment of thinking if I tell you guys about it, then suddenly he'll change his mind - which had nothing to with anything other than that old 'anxiety' chestnut.

My plans for absconding under cover of darkness with the furkid smuggled out under a blanket are no longer necessary. We will leave in broad daylight with his blessing, grudging though it may be.
Daylight savings finished today so I got my extra hour of sleep this morning and still made it to puppy obedience class. The weather has been totally delightful for the last week - warm days with light breezes and plenty of sunshine. I don't want winter to ever arrive.
There's so many more things that I could write about anxiety and my life and the irony that my new job is in direct contradiction to what the old me was comfortable with. Further irony - our project is named the 'Universe' and I had nothing to do with the naming.

Perhaps that's another post because I'm mindful of not letting my mouth (or my fingers as the case is here) run away from me.

Hope you all have a sensational week

Cheers, Fi

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson