Saturday, June 30, 2012

6WS - Thinking out side of the box

Everyone has dreams and sometimes it's the thinking outside of the box which can make those dreams come true. My two greatest dreams for the longest time have been to travel around the world, and to become a freelance writer.

They've been dreams since I was a little girl, but never my goals because deep down I've never seen them as being achievable. The differences between a dream and a goal;

  • A dream is a wish where no steps are taken to get a result, it's something that you wish could happen.
  • A goal is a target you've set yourself to happen, it's an attainable idea where steps are taken to achieve the result.
The thing is when you think outside the box and start realising not how it is ever going to happen but when it is going to happen, then you start to discover amazing things.

I've had some enlightening discussions this week, made some recent discoveries and engaged in some healthy reading for the soul which has started me thinking outside of the box and searching for alternatives.

How do I make my dreams reality and what do I need to do to start my journey towards achieving them?

My friend Google and I searched for several key topics such as travelling aroung the world cheaply and international travel on the cheap. There are many possibilities, including volunteer work as well as 'couchsurfing' or housesitting options for cheap, low cost world travel and accommodation. Here's a few sites I found;
  1. 15 ways to travel for free
  2. Round the world flights
  3. How to travel the world for free
  4. Couchsurfing
Not everyone's cup of tea but very enticing for someone who's favourite travel memory was three months spent in the US as a teenager; living, travelling and working with people I had previously never met. You learn so much more by not following the 'tourist' path.

That's me starting to think outside of the box and starting to explore all sorts of options to make my dreams become reality. I'm still at least a year or two away from putting things in place. Oldest son needs to be a little more settled, middle son needs to complete his apprenticeship and youngest needs to finish school.

There won't be any perfect time for going, but I need for my children to at least be self sufficient and capable of looking after themselves for a length of time. Unless hubby decides he doesn't want to come with me and then who knows, I might go sooner. and he can stay home and mind the fort.

So in the meantime I need to start planning what I need to do to achieve the freelancing dream and maybe also explore contracting positions overseas. Lots of things to consider and hey travelling around the world will provide lots of writing options.

Put the dilemma of money to the bottom of your list of obstacles, think outside of the box and start exploring alternative options to help you achieve your dream.

So what's your greatest dream?

Cheers, Fi

I'm linking up with Cate who gives us all a place to visit and connect. Want to play along with Six Word Saturday, it's easy? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feeel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

You are my sunshine

What a year it’s been, our beautiful little man turns one today. I never thought that being a nana could be so fun. Today the clouds have cleared, the sun is shining and while the weather is brisk it's a beautiful day outside. Nothing less could be expected on your first birthday.

You bring sunshine into the hearts of everyone who meets you and make all of us smile and laugh at your joy. I thank goodness every day that your mummy and daddy are so willing to share you with all of us and let us be a big part of your life.

Below are four of my favourite photos from amongst the hundreds I have of you. Daddy is on notice to take lots more photos of you tonight (or at least ask mummy to do it)

We are blessed to have you in our world

Love Nani

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

We are family....

In the blogosphere you can never tell what people are going to comment on or take exception to or be enchanted by. I wrote a post yesterday about suicide because this blog is about me, my life, my loved ones and the things that enchant me, annoy me or distress me.

Suicide is not a cool topic, it's not popular or talked about or even discussed openly - but it is reality for too many of us. I'm amazed at the comments on yesterday's post and the discoveries I've made in the last few days about family and friends and the demons they've faced. People are talking about it, about their experiences.

The one thing for which I'm grateful for, are the conversations and the openess that has occurred as a result. Our family is a mixed bag (most families are), we have numerous step relationships, as well as relationships that no longer exist or have evolved and moved on with newer partners and / or children added to the mix.

The thing is, for better or worse, no matter how far removed - in the end we're all family. Related or connected in some way. Tragedy has a way of breaking down barriers, dissolving old and useless past stresses and uniting people with one focus - that of moving forward and surviving together.

This week has seen conversations and support coming from unlikely sources, with stronger and more durable relationships as a result. Out of bad comes some good. I wish that we all could learn to appreciate one another without sorrow to kick our butts first.

One little man has become a strong focus for all of us and he brought about the beginnings of resolution many months ago. My gorgeous grandson celebrates his first birthday tomorrow, how quickly the time has passed since this little ray of sunshine and joy burst into our hearts.

He keeps us strong and is providing a very timely reminder of how important the future is. He's the shining light who is helping my son and his father move through their pain.

Tomorrow my post will be one of sunshine and light and photos of my gorgeous boy - because he is the future.

Thank you all for your kind words and wisdom

Cheers, Fi

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Taboo Subject

I had a cracker of a weekend up until yesterday morning. I woke up feeling like a small truck had hit me (I think it was a jelly truck) but it was self induced so no point complaining. Then mid morning I noticed a missed phone call on my phone from my eldest son’s father.

This is always an indication of bad news, so I think my heart momentarily stopped as I dialled the number. My relief that nothing was wrong with my son was quickly replaced with dismay when I realised the reason for the call. My ex-partner had just learnt that his brother (my son’s uncle) had committed suicide and he wanted me to be there to tell my son.
Twenty three years ago his brother was a big part of my life, if we had of stayed together he still would have been. The drive back to Adelaide was not the stress free result of a relaxed weekend that I had anticipated. Instead it was a long, gut churning drive home knowing what I had to do when I got there.

How do you tell a loved one that a family member has died, especially under the circumstances. It’s a conversation that I never, ever want to have again. The numb disbelief and shock on my son’s face will stay with me forever.
It did bring about a frank conversation with my son about not trying to understand the reasons for it and that I never wanted anyone I loved to feel that alone that they couldn’t talk to someone or ask for help.

It is a taboo subject, it’s one that’s usually only discussed in hush-hush tones. A friend of ours died several weeks ago and it was shocking and sudden, but a heart attack is an ‘acceptable’ way to die. In this case though, all anyone can murmur is ‘but he seemed okay’. Both of them were the same age with young children. Too soon and way too young for either of them to go.
Could anyone have done anything different, possibly not and there's nothing to be gained by people beating themselves up over what they could have done or should have done. Perhaps though, if mental illness and depression and suicide weren’t such taboo subjects then meaningless deaths wouldn’t happen as often because people might feel more able to reach out for help.

Perhaps even after telling my son not to over think it and to stop trying to understand it, that is exactly what I am trying to do myself.
Hold your loved ones close people and tell them that you love them as often as you can.

Hugs, Fi

Saturday, June 23, 2012

6WS - A few of my favourite things

Try writing a blog post after 5 vodka jelly shots, your eyes want to close and they don't see too straight when they're open. Baby showers in the country kick butt, or it could just be that family, friends. good food and fun times kick butt and a baby shower is a good excuse to get together.

Every piece of pink clothing in the southern hemisphere has made it's way to my sister-in-laws house tonight, but sssh nobody knows its a girl, except for those that received an invitation. First girl in our family since for ever, we have 8 boys between both sides.

I've never seen so much food in one place, 2 different soups then about 12 different main courses (one dish dinners) and probably about 5 desserts and then of course vodka jellies. My eyes were much bigger than my belly though and I really did not need to eat as much as what I dd.

So in reference to my six words - here's a few of my favourite things
  1. blazing bonfires
  2. strong, milky coffees
  3. country escapes
  4. de-stress time
  5. baby showers
  6. vodka jelly
  7. 'me' time
  8. sunshine
  9. soft, warm beds
I've got my old lady pants on now, can't stop yawning and probably need to go to bed now (even though it's way too early) Must be the country air which makes you tired, because it surely couldn't be the vodka jelly.

Have a great weekend everyone

Cheers, Fi

Please note: Any glaring errors on this post will be corrected when the jelly shots wear of a little. Visits to fellow 6WS participants will also occur after the wearing off period occurs.

Welcome to the country

The rain was falling this afternoon as I drove out of the city, yet by the time I reached the Northern Expressway the sun was shining and so was my mood. The stress seems to fall away when I'm in my car heading to Renmark.

It's my time, my de-stress time.

Can't believe my brother just sent me a text message to make sure I turn the heater off at the wall, he's about five metres away (at the front of the house) Okay so it's cold and who wants to get out of bed when you're toasty warm.

It's 11.49 and I'm sitting tucked up in my borrowed bed with my laptop. Overnight it's meant to drop to 0 degrees celcius, that's about 5 - 8 degrees colder than Adelaide usually is overnight yet it feels about 50 degrees colder. Cold for us but probably a mild winters day for some of you.

I have two quilts and a blanket on my bed tonight, have I mentioned I don't like cold much.

I was searching for a picture to match my post title tonight, as I do and I came across this beer commercial for Primus Beer. I've never heard of the beer but I can appreciate the irony when I'm talking about getting away from the city and de-stressing, because our project at work is called Project Primus.

Tonight we sat and watched a movie on my brothers new blue ray player, I can't even remember the last time when I actually just sat and watched a movie from start to finish. It was the Tower Heist with Ben Stiller, nothing to rave about but had a few laughs and we just relaxed.

Tomorrow my sister-in-law is throwing a baby shower to which they have invited roughly 40 people They're talking army size quantities of food, a big bonfire and vodka jelly shots (not for the mummy to be though, I'll do the sisterly-in-law thing and have her serve for her)

I'm guessing they do baby showers a little bit differently in the country.

So ahead of me lays (or is it lies?) two days of rest, relaxation and stress free bliss. In case you're reading this family dearest - I'm anticipating a nice clean house and the washing and food shopping done when I get home.

Well it's about time to snuggle down under my pile of blankets and get some sleep. Hope where ever you are and whatever you're doing this weekend that you're having some 'you' time.

Cheers, Fi

Note: For the record,  Primus Beer, is an African beer brand produced by the Bralima Brewery

Thursday, June 21, 2012

When the fog lifts....

…everything seems clearer and the words come.

I drove onto the Southern Expressway this morning to drive to work and was relieved to see the fog of the previous few days has lifted. While it still shrouded the city off in the distance, it was not the pea soup of the last few days. I could see in front of me and around me.
The rain fell steadily on my drive to work this morning; it was raining when I closed my eyes last night and it was still falling this morning when they re-opened. Up to 60mm fell across the city overnight with another 40mm expected today. Rain washes everything away, refreshes and cleanses everything in its path (although I still prefer sunshine)

Have you ever considered how much life is like a weather metaphor? My fog has lifted and today the words flow again, tumbling over themselves in my head this morning as I was driving in to work. Blog posts and story ideas – words, sentences, and thoughts all free flowing through my mind like the paths of rainwater cascading down my windscreen.

I’m not too keen on negative, miserable people – life is too short for wasted emotions. I don’t like being that person either, yet my words on the pages here recently have been shrouded in that fog. The words of someone who needed to wash away the bad stuff and get on with the good stuff.

I turned off the computer early last night and read more pages of The Intuition Principle by Angela Artemis. I’m only about a third of the way through but this book includes a basic meditation, it’s something I need to practice more and get better at because when my mind is quiet it keeps the fog at bay. I slept like a log last night, woke up with a sore ear because I don’t think I moved much at all.

I have my next book to read lined up in my wish list on Amazon, an e-book called The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, by Julia Cameron . I read a review on Cate’s blog a while ago and went and had a peek on Amazon at what the book is about. From what I’ve read so far of it through the example pages, it will follow on nicely from the Intuition book, similar concepts and great motivating actions.

So what helps you break through the fog - meditation, writing, reading? I’d love to hear what works for you.
Cheers, Fi

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

When the words won't come

I'm one of those people who writes conversations in my mind, over and over until I feel they're word perfect. I write a lot of conversations in my head driving to and from work each day - on my mammoth hour long drive and all.

Words engage me, enthrall me, inspire me. Yet this last week - the words won't come, the conversations in my head aren't word perfect because they're not happening and my blog posts are few and far between.

I'm frustrated by so many things in my life at the moment and when I am writing I'm forcing the words onto the screen. The words usually make things clearer when I write them out, when I write anything in fact - hence the rambling nature of this post tonight.

The words are still flowing at work despite the frustrating circumstances we're enduring, so I'm not sure why those words are still coming, thankfully they are. Besides the fact that sitting in one place for eight hours in a day and not doing anything is just too hard, so I guess the words still come.

I'm reading more at the moment - blogs about inspiration and writing, an e-book on intuition, articles on change management, anything to get the words tumbling and turning again.

I'm a bit like a blocked up pipe at the moment, only a trickle is actually getting through and I need the blockage cleared so that the words start free flowing again.

What do you do when the words stop flowing?

Cheers, Fi

Monday, June 18, 2012

Banishing the Energy Vampires

I've said it many times and I'll say it again, I'm a summer lovin' girl. I don't like cold wintry weather and I think this week the cold and wet has seeped into my soul and made me feel a little bit slow and lacking any of my normal get up and go.

Work has its crazy moments right now, home and the boys - busy, busy and all wrapped up in rainy, cold days. I need a nice minky blanket and a few spare hours to curl up in front of the heater and just do nothing.

I had a headache driving home tonight and a bit of a sore throat - arrghhh, be gone. I have plans to head up to Renmark on Friday for my sister-in-laws baby shower. Absolutely no time to be sick at the moment.

My friend Google and I have done a thorough search tonight - topic searches from how to get happy, to tips for inspiring others, to getting motivated. You know you've got it bad when things which usually excite me, and make the words fly onto the page as my fingers struggle to keep up with my brain, are failing to do so.

Then I discovered a couple of words that finally grabbed a hold of me and made me sit up and take notice.

Avoid Energy Vampires

That's it in a nutshell, I feel like everyone around me is sucking all of the energy out of me. Work, home, family. All draining the life blood. Energy vampires sounds so dramatic and inspiring.

Vampires are popular in todays culture, this from me who thought there could be no worse subject for a fiction novel even relented and finally read the Twilight series, long after they first became popular though.

So what can you do to avoid the energy vampires?
  1. A good starting point is to go and read all 33 tips for Getting and Maintaining Motivation by Dragos Roua. Number 11 is the Energy Vampire one.
  2. Take a short trip away (and preferably leave the energy suckers behind)
  3. Have a mental health day, phone in sick for work; then turn off the phone and snuggle under a minky blanket in front of the heater and read light hearted, fun and entertaining books all day.
  4. Run yourself a big fragrant bubble bath, light some scented candles, make yourself a big milky hot chocolate and lock the bathroom door behind you. Then don't come out for at least an hour.
  5. Turn off your Care-o-meter just for a short time and do what energises you - write, sing, create, paint, walk. Whatever you need to do to get your happy back.
That's my tips for beating the energy suckers - I plan on doing at least four of the five this week. So what do you do when the cold and wet seeps into your soul. What motivates and inspires you?

Cheers, Fi

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

This is the reason why I blog

Thirteen short days ago, a smallish yellow envelope dropped into a postbox somewhere in Troutdale, Oregon in preparation of its long journey across the sea to a vast and distant land.

It traversed several time zones, crossed into a different hemisphere and arrived at just the right time, half way around the world in a letterbox in a suburb called Morphett Vale in Adelaide, South Australia.

It could have arrived yesterday and would have been welcomed with open arms, it could have arrived last week when the recipient was mellow and relaxed on a six day break. But no, instead it arrived today, perfectly timed because the recipient had endured a frustrating work day and then an hour long drive home seething about a difference of opinion with another.

This small yellow envelope arrived at EXACTLY the right time and it contained magic.

Within the well travelled little package lay the magic of friendship, and some special hand written words that warmed the recipients heart and banished every bad thought and hint of stress from her frustrating day.

The true magic of this gift cannot be easily measured. It is by far the most valuable treasure ever sent to me from someone I have never met and yet who I feel knows me better than some of my nearest and dearest.

The words are ones I needed to hear and are almost as if in answer to my 'Adding Value' post yesterday, despite the package being posted almost two weeks ago. What is contained within is entirely the reason why I post to this blog. The friendship and connections I make.

Twice within several weeks now I have been struck speechless by the thoughtfulness of special people in my world who have reached out and touched me. To know that I inspire others is truly one of the most amazing feelings in the world. I make a difference and so do they.

I feel honoured to be called a friend by this person whose inner beauty is evident through her words, her gift to me and her passion to be someone who makes a difference to those less fortunate than others. She says she's not, but I truly believe that Jenn is Superwoman and I am eternally grateful that she came into my world when she did.

I couldn't resist checking - Jenn's first comment was on one of my posts for Six Word Saturday in April last year, how far we've come since then Jenn. One day we will both achieve our dreams - because quite simply if you can dream it, you can do it!

I have a number of special connections from my blog, people who I feel have become friends. People I have never met yet who I care about and feel I know. We share our stories, we encourage each other, we spur each other on and figuratively we pick each other up when things are a bit tough.

...and that's the reason why I blog...

So who within your blogosphere has reached out to you and become a friend?

Cheers, Fi

This is what was in my little package and a special card with heartfelt words ~ sob ~ It's exactly the sort of thing that I would have chosen for myself. But then that's how Jenn and I are.

Image credit - Mr Google
Heart of Haiti is a Trade Not Aid initiative founded by FairWinds Trading. It is a collection of housewares & jewelry made by Haitian artisans to help rebuild post-earthquake and sold exclusively through Macys. Heart of Haiti provides artists with an opportunity to make a living, feed their families and pay their children’s school fees. Already, The Heart of Haiti collection has led to employment of 700 artists in Haiti providing financial benefits for an estimated 5,000 people in the country.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Adding value - does it matter?

Most of my posts arise from my amazing little life (insert small amount of sarcasm here) - well mostly it's about what happens day to day, what affects me, what annoys me or what inspires me. Mostly!

I made a comment this morning to my boss that I don't feel like I add value at work. Six days of rest and relaxation allows way too much time for contemplating and thinking about life in general. So of course my friend Google and I searched those few little words and I found this post by Joanne Fedler on Mammamia and that's when I knew I was stuffed.

At the end of the post she provided this: Ten tips on how to work out whether your job adds (real) value in the world or is, sorry to say, just a bit of a wank. Your job adds value in the world if:
  1. When you arrive people say, “Thank God you’re here”
  2. No-one walks away from you feeling ripped off
  3. At the end of the day you can see the results of your labour
  4. Nobody ever tells you to ‘go away’ or swears at you
  5. You count lives, not money
  6. People don’t avoid your calls
  7. Nobody ever threatens to sue you
  8. Nobody ever tells you they want a ‘second opinion’
  9. You make broken things work
  10. People send you thank you cards
Regardless of how many I can cross off - I still think I'm borderline 'wank' status, because while I may be adding value it's definitely not in the ways which I planned and that's frustrating.

I don't know about you, but I need to feel like I'm adding value through what I do, the people I reach, the job I'm paid to do. If I don't feel like I'm doing something worthwhile and I'm not stretching, growing, learning then is it it time to move on or just time to re-evaluate what value add is for me?

Do you feel like you add value in what you do, am I simply overthinking this?

Cheers, Fi

Monday, June 11, 2012

Money - the necessary evil

I hate budgeting, in fact I'm not good at it at all. I'm not good at it because I haven't made a conscious effort to be good at it either. At the same time I hate being needy or having to borrow money as well. It's a nasty cycle.

I remember when my children were young and we counted every single cent of our money and hubby would do 'extra' work to get us by. We had four boys between us, a mortgage and one income. Money was tight and yet somehow we always managed to get by.

That's not to say there weren't days when a simple thing like a prescription for antibiotics for one of my boys had me in tears and wondering where I could pull money from to pay for it.

These days we have two incomes, more money and still we are not well off. I still hate budgeting. Numbers, maths, spending ugh! Now if budgeting could be done in words and sentences then I'd be wealthy and budgeting like a star.
My boys are not the best budgeters either, okay seriously, they got their sucky budgeting skills from me. The oldest couldn't save a cent to help himself and owes way too much money (to us and his father), the middle son is better but still spends money on crap. He does however have money in the bank (only because he doesn't get it all each week and is reasonably happy 99% of the time for us to maintain it) Youngest is the best but still has splurges, he's at least happy to work to earn extra for the things he wants.

Me, I like clothes and books. Hubby, he likes any sort of machinery or tool and is quite partial to beer. We gave up smoking almost 12 months ago, we should have a swag more money - we don't. We also like big cook ups of vast amounts of food with friends and family - I think it's my hubby's ethnic blood. His family lurve to feed people, I think it's a sign of honour. But then so do mine and we're not ethnic, so, so much for that theory.

Anyway as a rule, I don't visit financial web sites or blogs. To me anything to do with numbers is akin to chinese water torture. Being an accountant or financial advisor must be the worst job in the world - are you getting that I really don't like numbers yet?

But......(there's always a but) I found this website yesterday and I got just a little bit excited. A personal financial blog (kinda) and it had lots of useful tips and articles and ideas - and yay, very few numbers. It was even interesting to read, pause here for a moment of significant realisation that blogs about budgeting can be interesting..

It's worth having a peek at and I'm planning on following some of the advice and ideas I discovered. I think I might even make subliminal tapes to play the messages to my children in their sleep. That way they'll be wealthy when I'm old and decrepit and they can repay the thousands that they surely owe us.

In all honesty, I'm not endeavouring to be rich in wealth because based on this reality check below, I already am. I'm also rich in love and support and family which out weighs any cash in our bank account. At the same time it can't hurt to budget and have financial goals just as I have life goals. After all, it's about balance and being the best me I can be.

If you're really good at the money thing, I'd rather not know, but if you suck at budgeting like me, I'd love to hear your comments.

Cheers, Fi

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Not just another 'mummy' blogger

I read an article in the Sunday paper this morning which was written by a male and was not so complimentary towards 'mummy bloggers'.

 .... or maybe it's 'mommy' blogger depending on which hemisphere you're in.

I thought I'd be annoyed as I read through his article but I found myself agreeing with much of what he said, okay probably not the overriding sexist overtone he used but definitely his thoughts.
'Mummy blogging' is everywhere these days and is a highly talked about concept. I'm not sure that just because you have a couple of children that you're actually going to write interesting things any more than the next person with no children. I feel sorry for those who can't or don't have children and where they fit in the scheme of things.

Don't get me wrong because in the strictest sense of the definition, I too am a 'mummy blogger', because in essence I'm a mother and I blog, but that's where it stops. I am me first, before I put on my mummy hat and I'd like to think that I have a lot more to offer than simply in my 'mummy' persona.

Admittedly my children are older, but I wonder what happens to these bloggers once their children grow up. Where do former 'mummy bloggers' go, or will there be the next breed of 'nana bloggers' writing and tweeting about the dramas of grandparenting. In which case I could begin now and start a new trend (I'm sure someone has already done it though).

I'm not against 'mummy blogging' at all, but I find it quite demeaning that society likes to typecast these bloggers and pigeon hole them. Some of these 'mummy' bloggers are earning thousands of dollars but are not viewed with the same credibiltiy that your big name bloggers are. Why is that?

Why are they not just bloggers, why does putting the word 'mummy' in front of their title make them more marketable and more talked about. In all fairness, reading twenty different versions of toliet training and how to put a baby to sleep has it's limitations. But that's just my opinion and maybe this 'mummy' has it all wrong.

Go ahead and google 'mummy bloggers', the statistics tell you that 14% of American mums blog (can't find any stats for Aussie mums). Many of them have college degrees, many of them have writing, PR and communications backgrounds - but 'mummy' in their title will probably get them further than their college degree when it comes to blogging.

It's sad really, so what are your thoughts on 'mummy blogging?'

Cheers, from a blogger who just happens to be a mum and a nana.

P.S. - Look it already exists, my friend Google and I searched for a 'nana blogger' and look what we found - the Nanahood. Great writing and heaps of interesting links and posts for us 'almost past it mummy bloggers' {chuckle, chuckle}

Saturday, June 9, 2012

6WS - Ask yourself, will it matter tomorrow?

If it won't matter tomorrow then it's probably not worth stressing about or worrying over. I'm asking myself this question a lot these days. I'm one of those people who have moments where I'm prone to worrying - generally about my children.

NIne times out of ten what I'm worrying about doesn't happen but I make myself feel sick considering all of the horrible 'maybes'. I've taken to asking this question when some idiot cuts me off on the road or someone does something thoughtless.

Will it matter tomorrow, not one little bit. So I let it go. It's a conscious decision I'm making to just let it go and not stress over it.

My brother is the best one I know for trusting in the universe (not that he would ever, ever refer to it as someting quite so flakey) He just trusts that things will work out. Last night I was bemused at how things just all fall into place for him - why, because he just believes they will. I know it drives my sister-in-law crazy, it even drives me crazy sometimes but I also envy his ability.

A friend died several weeks ago - very suddenly, none of the things he could have been worrying about will matter now. It kind of shakes things up when you consider how short life can be. So ask yourself, will it matter tomorrow - because it probably won't and the reality is - what will be, will be... regardless of how hard you try to change things.

This might sound contradictory to what I usually write about here, because I do believe we are in control of our lives and our actions can change our worlds - but most of that is based on our attitude and what we do. Believe it can happen and it will, and push the negative, nasty time wasting thoughts to the side.

I think the most important thing to remember besides having a good attitude towards things and believing - is in having that plan of action. There's no point sitting and worrying, take action, do something, anything.

Agree or disagree, tell me your thoughts and I promise not to get upset, because will it matter to me tomorrow - nuh, probably not!

Have a great week everyone

Cheers, Fi

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Stop, breathe, relax........

There is nothing in this world better than a couple of days away from it all to rest and relax. Two nights and two days, just hubby and I, no computers, no children, no work. What a delightful break we had and it was very much needed and way over due.

We stayed here - Serafino Winery, McLaren Flat

The first full day we drove up into the Adelaide Hills and visited Hahndorf which is an old german settlement. It's full of german flavour with restaurants, cafes, galleries and plenty of things to see and do. We meandered down the main street and hubby bless his soul, visited every single clothing, craft and candle shop that I wished to visit, without a word of complaint.

We then visited the Hahndorf Inn where we chowed down on big bowls of homemade chicken and vegetable soup. Awesome food. This is one of the most attractive and comfortable pubs I've ever visited. Good food and great service.

Hahndorf Inn
In the afternoon we drove back into the McLaren Vale / McLaren Flat region and toured several of the wineries and did lots of olive tastings (and bought heaps too) I only wish that I liked wine, I feel a bit like I have two heads when we go into a winery and hubby will sample some but I decline. People look at you like your odd, strange, abnormal even..

I don't eat chocolate and I don't drink wine and of course roses make me sneeze - I'm probably not the easiest person to romance. Hubby looks after me all right though - bubble baths, scented candles and vodka have just as great an effect.

Today we went to Goolwa and went on a four hour cruise down the Murray River to where it joins the sea. We had lunch and afternoon tea on board and walked over the sand dunes and down to the beach. Despite it being cold, there was no wind and the sun was shining. A perfectly spectacular finish to our time away.
Spirit of the Coorong
So glad that we took the time to get away and even more impressed that our boys behaved themselves on their own. Fifteen and seventeen, home alone for two nights. I was a little nervous, but we were only 20 minutes away and I (we) had to trust them. They both fed themselves, got themselves up and took themselves to school and work.

Proves they don't need me to organise them, wake them up, cook for them, nag them.

Well tonight the house is still standing, it's clean even, the animals have all been fed (well they're alive and happy - so you assume they've been fed), the rubbish bins went out, dishes are all done.  Job well done guys. I think we should go away more often.

So there you go, just what was needed and as an added bonus it's another item off my challenges list.

Cheers, Fi

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Judgmental no more

We all do it, we all judge, we all think we can do better, be better, know better. I know I do it occasionally and yet I’m making a concerted effort to try and not do it as much

Social media outlets (don’t you love them) have gone into overdrive this week with the uproar surrounding tweets and comments about Chrissy Swan – you can Google it if you want because it’s everywhere.
I’m not going to bore you with all the details, suffice to say that Chrissy Swan is a minor Australian celebrity who’s not perfect, is normal like you and me and is being blasted left, right and centre for everything she is doing wrong in this life as a parent, a woman, and everything else she may do.

Honestly, I think the greatest sin she has committed is to actually ‘like’ herself and who she stands for. She is happy in her own skin, regardless of the judgments of others. People love to judge, condemn and ridicule someone who doesn’t fit into societies ‘norm’.
I applaud the girl for her belief in herself, her strength, and her choices. How many people ridicule others and judge others choices because for a small millisecond it makes us feel stronger and more powerful.

The cowardly twats who aren’t even game to put their names to comments are the ones who infuriate me the most. Social media makes everyone so brave when they can hide behind a keyboard and computer screen and lambast every other being. The pain lies in looking in the mirror at our own reflection and determining whether we actually like ourselves.
If you believe in something strongly enough then speak up and be heard and be brave enough to put your name to a comment. On the other hand if it’s all just to judge another person for their choices and to make yourself feel a little bit stronger, a little bit more special for a small moment in time, then save yourself the effort.

If all of us spent more time improving our own outlook and strengthening our own self esteem instead of bringing others down, then the world will be a happier place.
I’m working on polishing up my own reflection, what about you?

Cheers, Fi

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Making the most of it

Picture this if you will. It's a Sunday afternoon, the second day of winter - yesterday was beautiful, with sunshine and almost balmy weather. Today Mother Nature has caught up with her responsibilities and it's cold and raining.

I'm sitting on the lounge indulging in a steaming hot cup of Continental hearty beef soup and toasted cheese fingers. The gas fire is humming away nicely and everyone is out. My cats purr of contentment is drowned out by my own purr of contentment.

Today is hubby's last day of work for five weeks, tomorrow he begins his holidays. He gets five weeks every nine months because he's a shift worker. I don't think I've ever had five weeks in one stretch - never.

What does that mean for our family? It means that for five weeks my house becomes like Grand Central Station with comings and goings and activity. Hubby will have a kazillion visitors, will have more activities going on than the 2012 olympics and probably make more noise also.

Do I feel guilty for my couple of hours spent on the lounge indulging in writing amidst the peace and quiet while it lasts - not at all.

Normally we like to go away when he's on holidays, we're not these holidays, besides the fact that we went away in January. We are however, having two nights away (close to home but without the kids, just to rest and unwind) and I'm also having a six day break from work, so not so bad. Five weeks would be nicer mind you.

I'm not a winter person, give me sunshine and warmth any day. If anyone has a direct line to Mother Nature please tell her that a week or two of cold rainy days, open fires and snuggling time is about all that's required.

This week I'm going to be writing, relaxing and doing some reassessment of what I need to achieve to ensure I meet some key goals that I have.

So what are you up to for the coming week?

Cheers, Fi

Saturday, June 2, 2012

6WS- Some people make a big impact

They become such a part of our lives..........and we don't realise just how much until they're gone. We all think we'll live forever and that our loved ones will live forever. Until it's too late.

Someone we've known for almost 20 years passed away this week, his death was as sudden as it was unexpected. This was my tribute to him here.

Almost the whole neighbourhood turned out yesterday to mourn his passing. I don't believe anyone realised how far this guy's reach was or how many people knew and loved him. Everyone is in shock - still.

Videos show the hundreds who turned out to farewell him and flowers and written tributes cover the entire front of the shop that he owned with his family.

I can picture him laughing and joking about the fuss that everyone has made - because that's just the kind of guy he was - joking, taking the piss, laughing.

Missed but never forgotten, RIP Moussa,

Cheers, Fi

I'm linking up with Cate who gives us all a place to visit and connect. Want to play along with Six Word Saturday, it's easy? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feeel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing 

Friday, June 1, 2012

I uncopyright thee ... fly free

I found a blog the other day which had a fantastic concept (and I'm so bad that I didn't even keep the URL) The thing is her principle stuck with me. This blogger has uncopyrighted her content.

She's given open and free access to her blog content with a request that while a link back to her would be appreciated, it's not essential. The reason why this concept made so much sense to me is because of the amount of social media forums which exist.
You've probably seen this picture floating in the cyber world somewhere recently, it shows how complicated the social media world is, not that much of it makes sense. My boss forwarded it to me by email, but then I found it somewhere else today on another site. Numerous people are sharing it, posting it, emailing it. Does anyone really know where it originated from?
The reality is that because of the amount of social media outlets and how people share things, copyright has become a joke. You share something that someone wrote and it goes down the chain and eventually you lose sight of who the original owner was.

Are you with me so far on this train of thought?
So it makes sense to me to uncopyright things - sure I also appreciate a link back but the reality is that those who are going to 'steal' your words are going to do it regardless of whether you have a copyright note on your blog or not.
Try googling 'uncopyright' - which I did after I thought about writing this post - and there's a pile of posts about uncopywritten content. (Google anything for that matter and there's a pile of posts about it)
Like me you'll probably be amazed by who else actually does this, I thought it was a great concept but it's obviously not as original as I thought. Is anything in the blogging world truly original any more? Leo from Zen Habits and Steve Pavlina explain why they've also done it.
You'll probably all come back and tell me you knew this already and that's okay too because somewhere out there will be another me who didn't know about this concept yet.
So go your hardest people - all my content is now uncopyrighted.
Cheers, Fi

A society made up of individuals who were all capable of original thought would probably be unendurable. ~ H.L. Mencken