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Attitude For Gratitude


I wish I could claim this idea as my own but I know it isn’t. I love the implication of it all because we all need positiveness in our lives. It’s so easy to stay glum but turning those negatives into huge positives helps me both physically as well as mentally. Wellness is something that I am beginning to really value especially as I get older.

I had recently gotten hired for a job. It was agreed that I was to be trialed before they decided if I was to be given the job. I was pretty sure that it was a few weeks. I did 4 days and was called Monday when I knew I would be need on Wednesday. I was informed that I was not needed because they wanted someone with more experience. I was devastated. I had never been let go like that over the phone. I was really low for two days. Adam wasn’t impressed either with my employer but these things do happen. As I pondered on what I did or didn’t do right, I realized that maybe it was a blessing in disguise. I loved what I was doing but maybe I wasn’t really the right person to work for them. I decided that perhaps their loss would be someone else’s gain. I would be taken on some place where my personality would shine enhancing the workplace I would work for.

Yesterday I was just puttering away on Facebook catching up on the happenings of family and friends when  one of my game friend’s thanked me for being there for her 2 years ago. I was really touched by this. I try to treat people the way I would like to be treated. I had a most wonderful conversation with her that cheered me up tremendously. It was exactly what I needed at the moment. I am still feeling all warm and tingly inside thinking about it. I really look forward to typing with her again. She said she looked at me like a mother figure which pulled on my heart strings because I am childless. I always wanted children. Things just worked out the way they have for me which I am not sad about most of the time. (I do get clucky but my dogs are a great fix for that motherly instinct I have.)

Today I am on the last day of a temping assignment that was for 2 days. I am enjoying temping because I get great variety. My skills base is growing too which is lovely. I get to meet new people. I get to drive on the Pacific Highway to Coffs Harbour checking out the lovely scenery as well as progression of the upgrade between Sapphire and Woolgoolga. It can be a challenge at times trying to get to places on time but they say there is a price to pay for everything. If getting better roads means I have to wait, I will deal with that.

I am going to remember to have an attitude for gratitude because I love being grateful for things as they happen. I try to embrace being in the moment. I know there are others out there who feel the same way. Will you join my challenge and show attitude for gratitude?

My Australian Favorite Groups Top Ten Picks


My taste in music can be called eclectic. My fave genre would have to be funk but I do enjoy other sorts varying from pop, smooth jazz, classic rock as well as pub rock. Lately it seems I have been grooving to house and electronica too. My main focus today will be on Australian groups. I have heard some really great groups and solo artists from Australia since I moved here. It seems a lot of groups think they have to go the USA to make it big or leave their mark on the entertainment world but this list I am putting out today are the top ten that I love.

There have been groups that have reached icon status from Australia. The biggest one has to be INXS followed by Men At Work and Midnight Oil. The Little River Band made it big in the 70s. There are so many great groups to choose but this is my top ten.
10. Sneaky Sound System: the first time this group came to my attention was at a NYE that channel 9 promoted in 2006. They were quite lively and I really like their style.  I Love It!

Off their second album

Adam and I love this one which is from their latest album. “From Here To Everywhere”

9. Rogue Traders: Another band that I can’t seem to get enough of. They seem to sample quite a bit but who doesn’t these days. The first album I bought by them was “Here Comes The Drums” which featured “Voodoo Child”. I brought this album with me to share with my family in Louisiana at my niece’s high school graduation. Every track off that album I really loved. Here are 3 tracks that I can’t seem to hear enough!

This one I have song on my Playstation 3 so much I think Adam wants earplugs!

8. The Presets: This group reminds me of Depeche Mode a bit but I really love their style. I got this album for my 40th birthday. I could be quite upset but when I hear this song the good mood comes back to me ever strong!

7. The Potbelleez: Their song Don’t Hold Back was used in a jeep commerical but it’s on my mp3 list. I do love dance music! and this one here reminds me of my family reunion in 2012!

6. John Butler Trio: The leader of this group writes some really great songs. I love his use of lyrics. He’s more folk and blues. My all time fave by him is  Another fave: Losing You though makes me cry.

5. Icehouse: Iva Davies is another wonderful songwriter who also has an amazing voice.

4. Men At Work: I know my age is showing here. I was a child of the eighties but these guys were terrific! I am not going to feature the usual songs by them but the ones I really loved that never got airplay much! My all time favorite is:

3. Cold Chisel: I didn’t know about these legends of Aussie Rock until I settled in Australia. I am sure this band has paid it dues. This is from their latest album and I must say it’s a keeper. I get goosebumps listening to it. I featured this tree before on my facebook once but it’s still a great song. love Ian Moss’ voice and Jimmie Barnes’ harmonizing.

2. Australian Crawl (Aussie Crawl): Another group I never heard off until I migrated to Australia but they do have some great songs.

1. INXS: I loved this band since I was living in the states. There is something about them that just defies words. Andrew and Michael together created some awesome songs.

Because we all have a devil inside!

I know there are many other great groups from Australia but these are my top ten. There are many honorable mentions but I thought I would just share my top 10. Please feel free to share/add!

Crayfish/Crawfish


I was driving down Pacific highway heading back towards west high street. I saw a sticker on the back of a SUV which had a crayfish on it with a blurb about Tuggerah. For those who don’t know the location it’s on the Central coast of New South Wales not far from Gosford.
My mouth watered as I was taken back in my mind to my hometown of Leesville, Louisiana where we’d go to get all you can eat boiled crawfish at the Catfish Junction. I can almost taste it as I type this on my iPhone. This spicy treat with hush puppies was a Lenten favorite of mine. When Adam first came to visit me I took him there to try it.
It’s funny how when you travel to different countries & they do their spin on a dish. It often doesn’t live up to what you remember. It’s made for the local palate. Every time I see Cajun or blackened I scoff because
it’s not what I am used too. Even if it says authentic I wonder because I had an aunt who made beautiful gumbos as well as étouffée which outshines the fares I’ve tasted in Australia. I can feel blessed that I know what it should be like & not an interpretation. I know this sounds prejudicial. I can’t help how I feel. I think Adam would concur with me.
There’s nothing like a bumper sticker to make the mind go on a journey or remember something to make you smile.

Under Construction


I have been driving back and forth from my piece of paradise to my newest place of employment which is at Park Beach. I am not going to go into details on this blog about my newest job. I wanted to share some humor about driving and road construction.

The Pacific Highway is undergoing an upgraded between Sapphire and Woolgoolga. It will save travelers eight minutes when it is finally completed. The Woolgoolga bypass had been completed right before Christmas 2013. They are about to do another switch back on Monday somewhere on the stretch of highway between Sapphire and Moonie Beach or Emerald Beach so I could probably write details about that as well because they are expecting delays. Thank goodness I don’t have to go to work Monday when it actually happens.

I have heard some people complaining about the speed that the construction is undertaking but I just laugh at them in my head because I can recall living in Louisiana as a child and our parish priest was talking about the construction of 4 lanes between Leesville and Alexandria. The actual year it got completed was 2006 I believe. The priest was talking about this in 1976 or even earlier. When Adam and I moved to the northern beaches of the Coffs Coast it was announced that they were going to do the upgrade in 2010. It is projected to finish in 2014. I believe they will do it on time but even if they don’t I think they will bet the Louisiana project hands down.

My enjoyment of travelling or driving isn’t hampered that much due to this construction. Many trees have been cut down. There are some really spectacular views that I have noticed especially when heading from Woolgoolga to Moonie Beach. I never noticed the mountains until the construction was taking place. I know it can be a bit bottle necked after Moonie Beach going into Coffs Harbour but when it’s finished I think the flow will be much smoother.

During my morning drive an ambulance was going south on the Pacific Highway. I was pulling to the left as you do in Australia when the person behind me tried to pass until they realized why I was pulling over. They moved over to the side as well. I had always wondered if I would have gone to the right instead of the left. I might have at one time when I first moved to Australia but it’s now second nature for me to keep to the left.

I wonder if they will bypass Coffs Harbour one day; however, even if they do, I don’t think it will stop the tourists from coming to the Coffs Coast. It’s a really wonderful place to visit. They might even get the sea change bug and decide to stay like we did. I wouldn’t blame them but I got my piece of paradise staked. Visitors are welcome but this yaussiechick is here to stay even if there is road construction.

Boots and Heritage


I often write about Australia but tonight I thought I would share some fun thoughts I have had about my heritage and growing up in Louisiana. My father was native to Louisiana and grew up in the southwestern part of the state known as Acadiana. His childhood was in Jefferson Davis Parish and he went to USL which is in Lafayette, Louisiana. I take pride in having Cajun in my bloodline but I also have another boot place in my heritage.Map of LA Parishes

My mother’s father immigrated from Naples, Italy at the age of 9 through Ellis Island. I find it quite amazing that my father who was born a sharecropper’s son was born in a state that looks like a work boot.

My mother’s father was born in a country that looks like a lady’s boot.

I was given the name Dianna because my dad didn’t like the name Johanna and didn’t want me named Alanna because he thought his brother-in-law Alan would think I was named after him. My mom tried to name me after her sister Anna and I loved the thought of Alanna because I would have been named after my mom and her sister. Dad was still adamant I would not be named Alanna. My middle name is Louise and that is supposedly after my grandfather on my dad’s side (John Louis) but Alan’s wife, Louise is my dad’s sister. I really loved Aunt Louise but I am supposedly named after my grandfather. I had asked my mom about this long ago when I was a child. I know she always tried to name her children after family members or some sort of variant of it because it was her family tradition to do.

Every time people notice my accent, they often wonder where I am from. When I explain Louisiana, they automatically think of New Orleans. I have to explain that I grew up on the west-central side of Louisiana. It’s known as the Crossroads. The parish I was raised in for the majority of my childhood was Vernon Parish. Louisiana isn’t a very large state in comparison to Texas, California, or Alaska but it is very distinct in its own right. It has 5 distinct areas to it. The northern part of the state is predominantly protestant and the southern part is predominantly Roman Catholic. I could do several blogs about the different things in Louisiana but I grew up in the Crossroads. I always feel a special closeness to Acadiana. We would visit Aunt Dolly and Pawpaw who lived in Jefferson Davis Parish. It was about an hour and half drive. The accents also vary in Louisiana according to where you lived the most. My dad’s Cajun accent wasn’t very prominent until he was with his family. People who live in the Greater New Orleans area sound different from people from the northern area of the state.

Every time I look at boots,I am reminded of my heritage both on my mother’s side and my father’s side. I like the idea and find it quite funny. Do you have any fun facts about your heritage that you would like to share? 

Here is a link to learn more about the different facets of Louisiana.  http://www.louisianatravel.com/louisiana-map

http://www.thecajuns.com/parishes.htm

Solitary Island Way


View of the Solitary Islands from Muttonbird Island

View of the Solitary Islands from Muttonbird Island

I was driving Adam and I home from our training in Coffs Harbour when I took the turn off for Woolgoolga and noticed the name change to the road we take to get us home. It’s called Solitary Island Way. This gave me an aha moment which I wanted to share with you today.

Today we heard a lot of things at training however I am not really wanting to share all the pearls of wisdom that I heard there because I am still processing everything in my own sort of way. Please bare with me as I muddle through my thoughts to express exactly what my aha moment sprang from. I am always searching inside myself wanting to improve things not only for myself but for those who are in my life. I was just driving when I thought about how sometimes we all feel like we are alone but in actuality we are all connected.

The Solitary Islands are on the eastern coast of Australia.  The Coffs Coast which is part of the Mid North Coast of New South Wales is also part of the Solitary Marine Park. You can see these islands dotting up and down the coast of the area where I live. I was thinking to myself today how alone I could feel about my life if I let myself fall into that trap but I have to take a look at the bigger picture. Things are not so black and white. We are only as alone as we make ourselves. If we reach out to others our sense of loneliness diminishes. We just have to watch our attitude because that is a key to impacting on others. If we have a can do attitude we will be able to do whatever we put our mind to. If we get in a rut and are happy to wallow in mediocrity, mediocrity is what we will sow.

I always love going to Muttonbird Island because I always see things in a different perspective. I am very blessed to live so close to Solitary Marine Park. I live in a country for the most part that values its environment. Australia isn’t perfect but I find that I am very blessed to call it home. I can choose to live a solitary life or I can choose to share what abundance I have been given be it a kind word or positive thought to someone I come across.

The Solitary Island Way may seem alone but it is part of a wonderful environment which impacts on every living thing it touches. Even a rock or grain of sand can make a difference to the world that it is in. Take a part of it away and it could impact something or someone else in a negative way.

May you find the blessing of another day and never feel alone. There is someone out there who needs to hear from you. You can be the difference to brighten someone’s day!

Be the rainbow and light the way to a better day!

Be the rainbow and light the way to a better day!

Photo Credit for lighthouse Michael Scott taken at Woolgoolga Lookout

The Blind Leading The Blind


Adam and I were on our way down to Canberra for a wedding. The drive from our piece of paradise is probably about 10 hours. I am guessing this because I haven’t actually driven from the Coffs Coast to the Australian Capital territory.  We have a friend who lives in the Newcastle area of NSW which is a 2 hour drive from Sydney. The drive from our place to Newcastle was about 4 hours due to road construction.  Canberra’s approximately 3 hours southwest of Sydney. We asked him if we could come and see his new place that he moved into. He agreed and right now as I type, the boys are piecing together his computer room.

As you know my husband is blind and his friend Mark, that we are staying with is also blind. I am trying to let them do their own thing. I am trying to stay out of their way and not try to interfere. I am almost wanting to step in but I want them both to have their independence. I have already stepped in once already and am wondering if I am doing the right thing with them but they would call me if they needed help.

It can seem like a slippery slope being married to a blind person when you want them to have their independence. I am not trying to sound condensing and I am afraid I am seeming that way. It isn’t hard to be married to a blind person especially when they have confidence in what they are doing. It’s really cool listening to the two men work together as I type this blog. I actually went to bed leaving them to their business.

It’s been a week now since I had started this blog. I had meant to do a few for our trip to Canberra and back but as best laid plans can be, mine never came to fruition. I did want to finish this one though because as a sighted person it was a privilege to see Adam and Mark work as a team. I often take for granted the sight that I have but to listen to Mark giving Adam directions as to where things were and how he wanted things done was really good. It just goes to show that things can be done properly even without sighted assistance.

When I got up in the morning, Mark was thanking Adam for the work they had done. Unfortunately, I couldn’t help him with getting his main computer set up with sound but I believe he did get it working again with someone else’s help.

The slippery slope of knowing when to step back and let the blind lead the blind isn’t that hard to do if both people have faith in each other. The guys didn’t squabble or belittle each other. They worked as a team which I loved. I want to take a step out of their book and I try to most of the time. They didn’t worry about how long it took to get done but took pride in a job done well as well as properly.

Soul Searching


Ever had one of those moments when you just go where do I go from here? Yeah, I am having one of those moments a lot lately. In fact today, I was instructed to just go have a good think about what I want to do. I am really good at that. Thinking, it’s like a natural thing to do especially for me. I do it non stop. In fact at times it can cause insomnia. I can focus on things a bit too much at times that it will actually prevent me from moving forward. I will ponder, wonder, and concentrate on something come up with nothing but it’s still fermenting in the back of my mind until I finally get the light bulb going off. I like that moment the most when I know exactly what I will do but the real challenge can be finding that light bulb moment.

I can fumble around in the dark so to say not as good as my man but figuratively. You would think at 45 I would know exactly what I want to do with my life. I find though even though I might plan something, it won’t go according to plan. I can adapt. I am not afraid of change. I can actually adapt well to change and try to work with it sort of like a willow caught up in the wind bending to whims of the wind but not breaking totally.

I can be a very passionate person. I have lots of varied interests which can take me down many different tracks. I am just trying to find out exactly what I want to do professionally which will reward both my employer and myself.

There are so many things I need to or want to do. I know there are things that need to be done more like praying and meditating. I sort of pray while I am thinking. I have conversations with God a lot. I look for the answers in subtle signs or turns in conversation. For non-believers I know you may not believe but it helps me to do this sort of prayer while soul-searching. I can hear the sceptics going ‘Hogwash’ but it works for me and that is what is most important.

I need to sit down and do SMART goals. I know that would help me a lot. I need to look at the big goal and just break it down further into more manageable short-term goals so that I can get to the big goal.  It just getting that big goal sorted out. I feel a bit like Robert Frost in The Road Not Taken. I have two paths I can go down and even if it doesn’t work out the way I think it will, I will still be glad I went on the journey that I took.

I will be soul-searching for a bit but I am sure I will find my focus. I will get encouragement and draw on the strength that I know I can handle whatever may come. Each day brings new challenges which will help make me be me. 75fc536f-fe51-4eaa-bef7-1bdb9cfa4b21

Something To Brag About


I can’t believe I actually did something computer wise for Adam. He is definitely a gadget guru man and always looking at things to help improve the use of technology within the house. He heard about wi-fi extenders and actually was given one by a friend. He had been struggling with trying to figure out how to get it set up. He was told it was pretty simple to do. All he needed to do was use the website but of course, people do have a tendency to exaggerate about how things work. Since Adam loves his independence, (who in the world doesn’t?) I left him to it because he really loves doing things on his own.

Normally he is the one I turn to when I am having problems with my computer or laptop or iPhone but today the tables turned. I usually have no patience for technology. I am definitely a big believer in plug and pray. ( I know it should be plug and play) If it doesn’t work, scream for Adam to come bail me out of trouble is the norm for me.  Today though, I actually decided to grab the instruction manual and read it. I know this is the standard procedure to do for sane people but I don’t always do things by the book. Adam couldn’t read it of course unless he used the scanner which I don’t think he thought of doing yet. I was curious about how it was supposed to work. I got the booklet, read it to him and then thought to myself, why not try connecting that extender through my laptop. It had wi-fi and if I couldn’t work it out, Adam would have to call his friend for help because Netgear doesn’t help with second-hand goodies.

Dianna actually got the extender connected on her laptop! We now have an extender for our wi-fi network! I am stoked. I know this isn’t the greatest thing ever but to me, it’s HUMONGOUS! I fixed something for my gadget guru! I didn’t have a fit or cry or scream. I did it calmly and rationally! YAY for me!

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