Blog Archives

Lapse


It seems like a very long time since I have actually sat down to write down some of my thoughts. Has it been a year already? At times it feels like it has been longer and other times it feels exactly right.

It seems that things don’t stand still with WordPress. It took me a little while to figure out the configuration to get to blogging but I found it. I will not be deterred. I feel like writing and sharing again. I am not even sure if anybody is interested. I am going to give it a go though and see what happens.

Things with me are going along at a steady pace. I am now studying through Charles Sturt University via the Distance Education route. I have completed 2 courses last term and in this term I am taking another 2 courses. It just started last week. Going back to school has been good for me. I had been busy getting papers written for both courses last term. I think this term it is only one big paper for Leisure, even if it isn’t I think I will do okay. I hope to maybe go up to 4 courses next term except I am nervous that I am going to muck it up. It’s kinda scary plunging back into study after so many years. The end result though will be a Bachelor Degree in Health  Science (Health and Leisure). I am then going to hopefully get into a graduate program to become an Orientation and Mobility Specialist. I will also be able to work as a Diversional Therapist.

It’s winter now down under. Last year didn’t seem so cold. There was actually snow inland up near the border to Queensland. I am sure most people from the northern hemisphere would just laugh at the way some people are reacting to the temperatures we’ve been getting here. It’s not like we have to run around with huge parkas. It’s a shock to the system though when you are use to running around in shorts but it hasn’t stopped some people though. I have seen them running around in thongs (flip-flops), shorts, and maybe a sloppy joe (sweatshirt). Adam and I are in our sweats mostly. We’ve also been putting on the heater at night. I am sure last year we only put it on in the morning to get the chill off the air.

 

I didn’t mean for this lapse to happen for so long. I just got busy and self involved. I didn’t feel like sharing because I thought it was boring but hey, maybe somebody out there missed reading my thoughts. I will do my best not to be such a stranger. I can’t promise to write every day or every week. I will try to do better though. I do enjoy blogging and maybe some of you guys like reading.

Any questions or comments, please let me know in the comment section!

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Roos About


Spring is in the air down under! A couple of weeks ago this is what we saw. The kangaroos are really enjoying the sun and lush grass. We were heading back from Cabins Beach when I saw these three while crossing Mullaway Drive.

The grass looks yummy to them!

The grass looks yummy to them!

Baby joey peeking out for us!

Baby joey peeking out for us!

I had to share this. They looked so content. I am glad my sony has a great zoom! The roos are certainly about in Mullaway putting on a show!

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

Thanksgiving Yaussie Style


The majority of my life, I have lived it in the northern Hemisphere in the great state of Louisiana on the central west side. Thanksgiving Day always holds a very special place in my heart because it normally fell close to my mom’s birthday. I love my mom to bits. She was an amazing cook! Thanksgiving is a special time to be with family and friends. Any North American can identify with this wonderful holiday. It doesn’t matter if you are from Canada or the USA, you know what Thanksgiving is all about. The only difference is if you are Canadian you celebrate in October and if you are a native of America (USA), you celebrate it the 4th Thursday in November. Another special thing about Thanksgiving is that the two sisters I grew up with both married fellas whose birthdays also fall around this special day. Glenn was on the 25th of November and Eric is on the 28th which means this year is the actual day he shares it with the holiday.

When I first moved to Australia, I would still celebrate this holiday inviting friends over who didn’t quite get the special day. They didn’t really like the way I did the sweet potatoes with marshmallows but they ate politely. This year, I didn’t do a big Thanksgiving meal. I didn’t invite anyone over but I often think of my family across the world. As I type this blog, they are getting ready to get together and celebrate. They will watch the parades, eat turkey and football (not soccer or rugby but gridiron as the Aussie’s term American football). I will be with them in spirit and try to call.

It’s sort of strange trying to explain something that I grew up with to friends here. Adam gets it but we always seem to get each other. I always say I was made for him and vice versa. It is like trying to explain mate-ship or Anzac Day to Americans who would just have to experience it for themselves. Some people still might not get it which is what I found when I try explaining Thanksgivings Day to Australians. They get it but not quite.

Also, when I first started celebrating Thanksgiving in Australia, I would do it on Thanksgiving day Australia time but then I thought maybe I should do it on the actual day that Americans do because I would have the dinner on the same day as my family. I know this might seem strange to some that I was so wish-washy about it. It was also easy for people that I invited over to come over on the Friday instead of the Thursday.  It just made sense to me.

I am not feeling the best which is another excuse but I don’t see a point in doing a huge meal when it’s just me and Adam. We took our dogs to the beach and enjoyed our companionship.  I feel like I had an epiphany yesterday, which was my mom’s birthday (27th). I had been struggling with something for the longest time inside of me. I thought I had given it up long ago but I had a dream.

In this dream, I came to realize that I don’t need anyone’s approval to proclaim the Good News. I had felt the Lord had draw me towards Evanglisation when I was living in St. Marys. I went to classes to learn more and wanted to contribute more. I was well on my way to do this because I had finished a course on St Paul and it was as if the scales on my own eyes on my feeling of unworthiness fell away and I could see the greatest potential God wanted for me.  I just got side tracked is all. Someone asked me a question about something and I was honest with my answer.  This person was the one who I looked up to and felt mentored by. It was after my honest answer, that I was instructed that I could not teach for the School of Evangelisation because I needed to do something which I felt was unnecessary. She let me do more menial things. I could lead songs and write a piece for the newsletter but actually talk in front of people…. it just wasn’t allowed.  I wasn’t worthy enough in her eyes. My dream though had a mixture of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in it and my own mother and they told me that if I felt the need to speak the truth about Him there was nothing to stop me.  I didn’t need a sanction from the church to do God’s work. I just had to be lead by the Holy Spirit.

God has a way if you are open to Him. It may not be the way you may have ever imagined but if He wants you to do something, you will do it with His guidance on His time table not yours.

I am thankful for the opportunities the Lord has put my way. I know I am not perfect but I strive to love like He does, with acceptance and compassion. Lots of forgiveness and openhearted, with anticipation of what He has in store for me. He has given me a unique family and some very wonderful friends (Shauny G and Bishop Eddie Tatro, and Rachie from WordPress a huge hug too from me). I will try and give thanks not just because it’s Thanksgivings Day but because He has given me another day to simply BE!

A Blessed Life


Everyday is a blessing. I truly believe that statement. I often sit and go about my day thinking to myself not really voicing what is going around in my over active imaginations because frankly not everyone needs to hear my thoughts although Adam is always asking me what’s going on inside my head. The man not be able to see but he knows me too well. He knows when something inside me is bubbling up and about to explode to the surface.

The past few days I have been a bit edgy. It doesn’t really take much to get me to wanting to bite somethings head off. (I feel like Alice Cooper or Ozzie Osbourne is trying to possess me.) I have this rage inside me that I need to expel so this is why I have decided to write all this crap out bring it to the surface, let it spill onto the webpage for the entire world to see so that I can exorcise the beast out of my system once and for all but I have a feeling it will happen yet again as it is apt to do most especially when someone makes a statement such as: You will never understand. You don’t have kids.

The statement is true to a certain degree but this sort of generalization really burns me up. It makes me so angry. It makes me question myself as a person. Am I less of a person because I haven’t given birth to a child? It’s something that I have always wanted but it hasn’t happened. I have no desire to go for infertility treatment or IVF. I am a firm believer in if it is meant to happen it will happen. I also know I could go the route of adoption or fostering but a part of me thinks that maybe I am not good enough because I was not able to conceive. I know that isn’t true. I probably would make a very good foster-mother because I have a very kind heart. I always dreamed of being a mother. Sometimes though I am glad that I haven’t been pregnant. I won’t get to experience the pain of having to let go of my child.  I can remember when Margaret was pregnant with Cassie. It was so beautiful watching her baby move inside her and feel her kicking. I can imagine the feeling but I will never experience it in this life. I am not experiencing life the way other people are blessed with children but then again, they aren’t experiencing my life either. Some may never get to know the kind of love that I have with Adam.

I’ve heard that having a  child can make a marriage different. It changes it in such a way that you never really know until it happens to you. I am not going to see any fruit from my marriage to Adam because we haven’t created a new life but in our own sort of way, we have created a life together that is hard to express. I am content with my life with Adam. He’s not your typical bloke. He is sensitive and caring. He can bug the shit out of me and motivate me. I feel as if we make a really great team. I always wanted to find someone I could totally be myself with. I can’t put up walls with him because he knows when I am trying to do that. It’s like he has this inbuilt bulldozer to knock down the barrier I am trying to create. I would be foolish to even try to create such a buffer to him. There is no need for such a creation when you truly love someone who loves you back. There is such transparency between us that I find it hard to believe that other couples don’t have this. They choose to keep parts of themselves separate from their partner. I did that once in another marriage and found it to be exhausting.

I have a very blessed life with a very special man. We may not add to the population of the world but in our own ways, we try to impact our world with positivity and compassion. We reach out to family and friends when they need us in our special ways.

Even with the tragedy that strikes from natural causes or man-made destruction there is something about humanity that still shines through. There is a positivity and  compassion to help others that are less fortunate than ourselves. I don’t think it comes from trying to be better than the other person; it comes from recognizing the vulnerability of ourselves through the ones who have suffered the tragedy. There is inherent goodness in us all and we all have a blessed life whether we are called to be parents or uncles or aunties or friend.

 

What’s In A Name Game


Yesterday I logged into World Of Warcraft and worked on a couple of toons that I hadn’t played in a while. One was on the Horde side who happened to be kicked out of a guild that she had been in for a while. I am not sure why it happened but I have a feeling the guild leader hadn’t realized what she had done but this isn’t what I wanted to discuss in this blog.  In this blog, I am going to discuss how I end up naming some of my toons.

Robina, a blood elf paladin on Silver Hand was actually generated by World Of Warcraft but it turns out that Robina is actually a place in Queensland. I pass it every time I drive up to Brisbane to visit friends who live in that city on the M1. There are a few toons that I have named after suburbs on the Inner West Sydney Train line.  My mind does these sorts of thing a lot especially if I want to create new characters to explore. I have two Ingleburns both on the alliance side but on different servers. Ingleburn the destruction warlock is on Silver Hand. Ingleburn the warrior is on Lightbringer. Leumeah is a boomkin druid. Bellambi is in the Illawarra region of NSW (New South Wales) and I have two Bellambis. One is a Draenei warrior on Silver Hand and the other is a Dwarf paladin on Lightbringer.  I have an undead warlock name Woonona who is also a town in the Illawarra District. A suburb closer to my locality called Korora inspired me to make a blood elf priestess on Muradin.

In the Blue Mountains, there is a town called Warrimoo. Now if I were to create a character for that place, it would be a tauren warrior. It’s very obvious to me because taurens look like cows that walk upright. These are the sorts of things that race around in my head while traveling around.

I have also named characters after other things. I have a Draenei huntress named Neches after a river in Texas that I had to drive over in order to get to the Houston Airport. My main character, Diadamanna, a human holy priestess, is named after me and my hubby who dwells in Silver Hand. Whiloe the very first character I had created on World of Warcraft was actually supposed to be Willow but the name was already taken so I alternated the spelling but I like it. In all honesty, I had created Whiloe on Everquest which is the very first online game I ever played. She was a bard. I will have to do a blog on that someday as well because I miss being a bard pretty badly. It’s the one class I desperately want in World of Warcraft but I fear it will never happen.

Thank you for reading about what’s in a name game that I often play when I am wanting to create new characters or I find a town name that takes my fancy. I wonder if you play what makes you decide on a name! There have been times when I think about the class and make a name on the spot like Claritee an arcane mage or Jokkah the troll hunter.  I invite you to share if you like! It’s pretty fun!

 

Mitch, My First Australian Dog


Picture 007

Once Adam and I moved from Homebush to Werrington I asked him about getting a dog. We had a lovely backyard. I have always loved animals but dogs just warm my heart. Before we left Homebush, we both thought it unfair to have a dog living in a unit but a house, that was a different kettle of fish. We also wanted to get a dog from a rescue place so we decided to go to Animal Welfare League to find a dog whom we both could love.
We were shown 3 dogs because I wanted to get a labrador if possible. The first dog was a boxer. I wasn’t keen on a boxer especially when I heard how energetic they could be. I had a labrador before and knew they had a very gentle nature. They loved walking and could sleep for hours if left to their own devices.
There were two lab mixes there. An older female who was black and a yellow lab named Mitch. Mitch was young about 2 years old. He wasn’t desexed yet. One of the conditions of adopting him was that he would have to be neutered.
I kept looking at the black lab but really wanted to get Mitch. Wicca was a nice enough dog but I wanted a young dog with energy. He was quite skinny but I knew with my love, he’d be thriving. I didn’t say anything to Adam until we were alone with Wicca. He thought I wanted Wicca but when I disclosed I really wanted Mitch, he was happy. We went back into the office to let them know our decision.
The lady at the front desk was really pushing for the boxer but I assured them I wanted Mitch. We had to answer tons of questions. Did we have children? Were there other dogs at home? My answer was simple. We have no children and no dogs. We wanted Mitch and were more than happy for him to be neutered. I was more than happy to take that yellow lab home with me but we had to wait for him to be desexed as well as pay for him to be registered in our council.
The following day, I was called by Animal Welfare again to make sure that we hadn’t changed our mind. I was told that Mitch was very playful. He was also a wanderer. He would not be suitable for children or socializing with other dogs by their animal behaviorist. I reassured them there was nothing to be afraid of because we had no other dogs and we had no children for him to play with.
The day came when we got to pick him up. I was given instruction on what sort of behaviour to expect from him since his hormones were raging. It’d be about a month for him to settle down. I was fine with that. We put him in the Daewoo happy to take our fur ball home.

Picture 008 As you can see he was very skinny but with in a few weeks of my indulgence, he looked like this!
Picture 006
Mitch has always been a pulling sort of dog on walks. I have taken him to get training to help with the pulling as well as a dog trainer for myself so that I can better manage him on walks. I now use a haltie on walks with him because if he’s not tired, he will literally pull my arm out of socket. I knew something was wrong with him when he had gotten lethargic and would let me walk him easily. I took him to a vet when I thought he had eaten a poisoned mouse. I saw a tail in the bathroom after we had the exterminator come in and put down baits to kill mice. He also loves to chase cats. Could you imagine my surprise when he reacted to Claudia the cat coming up to him without so much as a bark? Here’s the proof!Mitch and Claudia It turns out Mitch had a bad case of bait poisoning and was placed on Vitamin K! He mended but then figured out how to get under the house and baited himself again! Another huge vet bill paid for Vitamin K. We also made sure to put a lock on the manholes to keep Mitch away from the baits. If mice want to live with us now, I will let them be or try to catch them in a more human manner because the way they die by being baited is horrible! I hope we never have to go through that again with him.
We even took Mitch us on vacation to Coffs Harbour! Here’s a happy snap of him and Adam close to Sealy Lookout before it’s renovation!
Adam and Mitchy
After having Mitch for about a year, I asked Adam about getting another dog because I thought he might be lonely. Adam’s response was a resounding no because he wanted to get a guide dog. I was really thrilled for Adam. I never thought he was going to make that statement. This man who I love is ever independent. He use to say that a cane was much easier than a dog to use. It was less fussy as well as cleaner to deal with. You could leave the mobility cane in the corner. You didn’t have to feed it. It was always at the ready. You didn’t have to potty the cane. I will blog another time about Adam and his guide dog, Lenny.
I often muse to myself that it was Mitch who turned Adam’s thinking around. Mitch who was/is ever fun-loving, eager to go walking or play. Yes, dogs can be lots of work but they can be so loyal. Mitch whines when he sees other dogs. Some may think it’s because he’s scared but I know him better than that. He wants to go greet and meet. He is ever eager to run, smell, and play with another dog.
Mitch loves to go for a wander. There are times when I let him off lead when I think it’s ok especially in the bush where we live here. He hasn’t been out and about due to the stitches he got from the kangaroo he terrorized with the youngest of the Morris pack but he wants to go all the time. Nothing slows him down. He loves being an escape artist. We had to get better gates at Werrington thanks to his ingenuity. We didn’t have him a week before he wander away and I paid a reward of $50 for his return. Even at our latest house in paradise in the mid north coast of NSW we had to doctor the fence a bit because if there is any way that a dog can get out, Mitch is the dog who can do it.
He’s getting older now but he’s not slowing down. He can keep up with Grady who will turn 3 in June. He can be oh so gentle. He’s my Mitchy Mitch,my Mitchy Moo, Mooney booney, the Mitchiest Mitch of Mitches. I love him and am so glad he’s my dog. When I first got him, I thought how the hell am I going to put up with this yellow fur ball who can tear up swings with gusto. He’s mellowing with age but he’s always going to have a special place in my heart. He’s my first Australian dog who helped Adam and I become a family. I also think he helped Adam realize that having a guide dog wasn’t such a bad idea at all.
I’d love to hear about others first dogs if you want to share! Please be my guest!
I’ll leave with you another pic of Mitch and Lenny not long after Lenny joined our pack!

Mitch is on the left and Lenny is on the right taken on 23 December 2008

Mitch is on the left closest to the pole and Lenny is on the right taken on 23 December 2008

Connecting to others and the ways we use them (connections)


I just saw this post on a friend’s Facebook page and had to share it because this is one way I thought I could evangelize about the goodness I have found in the Lord. I am Christian and Roman Catholic but sometimes, I do not follow every single teaching the Holy Church preaches. It doesn’t make me a bad person.

I truly believe that God has given us free will to worship Him as we are called to do. For me, the closest connection I feel with God is through Mass. Sometimes though, you can find the most amazing people and make connections to them which also brings you closer to God.

I am an avid gamer. I play a game called World Of Warcraft and have met some really wonderful people through this game. I know of one priest who says that being involved with gaming is a distraction from God but I don’t follow that line of thinking because sometimes I learn more or draw people closer to God. Some may say that’s a stretch but I really feel this way.

Also, I am on Facebook daily to stay in touch with my family. I have found my soul sister who was my roomie in college through Facebook which I would have never had done. I play games on Facebook too and found wonderful people who love sharing too. I had joined twitter to use as a tool for evangelization yet I find I am on Facebook the most.

One of the reasons I started blogging was through a round about way from Facebook as well. I had met this fellow who had seen a picture of me in front of my nephew’s corvette and wrote to me. (I had used the pic as my public profile picture) He was very complementary to me saying how charming I looked. We began writing back and forth. I was straight forward about being married. Somehow he wasn’t getting the fact in but I enjoyed writing to him. Around Christmas he stopped writing to me. I guess the fact finally sunk in that I was happily married. He was a very lovely man. He had such a love of God and I just wanted to be a friend but he was seeking something from me that I couldn’t give him to his satisfaction. I miss talking with him but when he wrote to me it was all about his undying love for me. I had to constantly say that I was already married. Friendship was the only thing I could offer. The poem that I put up on WordPress was for him but I don’t think he will ever get to see it. I am not going to start writing to him again because I hate the idea of tormenting a person.

God has given me a love of sharing. I saw a post my niece, Cassie Olson, did through blogspot. I thought to myself, instead of writing to this guy, I can start my own blog which is what I did. I discovered WordPress too but find WordPress much easier to use so I stopped blogging on blogspot. I pretty much just blog here now. I am finding lots of new blogs to read which inspire me and am making great friends.

I realize this post is a bit rambly but think these thoughts had to be shared. I will leave you with one of my favorite songs from church that spoke volumes to me. I am dedicating this to three special WordPress bloggers as well:  dreamingforbetter, Eyes Wide Open, and Megan메간 this song is for you! Enjoy and be blessed!