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Shopping list/ Wish list


Today I went shopping at Coles in Moonee Beach because we were running out of things to eat. Adam stayed home and while I enjoyed shopping I noticed there were some things that I can’t get here in Australia. They do stock Uncle Ben’s rice mixes but what I am desiring is Rice a Roni specifically the Fried Rice. I even checked on http://www.usafoods.com.au/ but they are out of stock. I asked them to let me know when they have it back in.

I do miss Peter Pan Peanut Butter and only saw it on sale once at Woolworths. At one time the stores actually stocked Cherry Coke. It didn’t stay here long though. I can get it online or maybe even at a speciality lolly shop when I look for it. I have really cut down on my intake of soda though. My first Thanksgiving in Australia, I asked if they had French’s Fried Onions in a can. The stock person looked at me like I was insane.

Another thing that I used to love to get was sloppy joes but here in Australia it is a sweatshirt not a sandwich. I guess I will have to add that to my wish list of American food items. I guess I am going to be making a wish list of things to get from USA Foods. They normally carry long life dry goods. They don’t sell tin biscuits or any dairy items.

When I grew up pudding was not a cake like dish with a sauce, it was more like a custard. Jello is known as jelly here in Australia. Overall, I don’t mind living in Australia. I actually love it but I do miss some of the comfort foods I had from growing up. I still prefer American hot dogs over Australian. The bacon is different but I can get it to get crispy like I am used to.

I am not complaining about living in Australia with the food but you can take the girl out of America but her taste buds still have a hankering for things she grew up with. I will always carry the jingles I grew up with in my head even sharing them with others freely.

“Rice a Roni – The San Fransician Treat”

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Rotten But Not Forgotten


This title pretty much sums up the way I am starting to view the process of death. I see patterns to things. I know there are patterns to the weather as well as cycles in life. I wonder if perhaps there are cycles in the universe too.
In science there is a theory about energy which is termed the conservation of energy. There is also the theory of relativity which Einstein formulated an equation that is E=MC2.
There seems to be a process that everything goes through. It’s almost like a huge recycling cycle where nothing is totally destroyed instead it gets transformed into something else. A couple of weeks ago while Adam, Lisa and I were walking at Dorrigo National Park we passed a sign which said Rotten but Not Forgotten. It stuck with me. It sort of confirmed what I had thought about in my mind.
Since Lisa’s arrival with us, I have been doing a lot more exploring and discussing things with her. I don’t go mountain goat climbing with Adam on the edges of the headlands on the beaches. I had done this before with Adam on the rocks. It’s kinda of different with Adam though because he can’t see where we are heading. I am the eyes of the operation which isn’t a bad thing. It’s nice having another pair of eyes around though. I hadn’t realized how much I am enjoying having her around.
I had often thought of parts of the beach as a seashell graveyard where there are lots of broken rocks and shells being transformed into bits of sand due to the wind, sun, rain, and bombardment on rocks.

DSC00226

seashell graveyard

Even when you walk in a forest or rainforest, you can see the process of change in the ecosystem. Everything is interdependent on something else. Although the tree may not think it is dependent on the soil it is because it has nutrients which are provided through other things such as insects and bacteria. When something dies, it is actually providing food or something relevant to its own environment.

rainforest

rainforest

With humans though, it seems like we are independent to others yet we are still interconnected via relationships. Even though someone we know dies, they still live on with us when we remember them. We glen things from our relationships; they transform us whether we like it or not. It may seem that part of us dies when we lose someone close to us. I am starting to think maybe I am not dying but being transformed into someone else. Changes take place whether we want them or not. It’s part of life. It’s how we deal with the changes that can form us into who we are as well as the choices that we make on our journey of life that make us. We can choose to take the rotten things that happen in our lives to help or hurt those in our circles. I hope to help all I can.
What do you think?

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!

Size Does Matter!


ImageThis beautiful frothy cider was delicious but did you know that I had been  confused about what exactly the order of ordering sizes of drinks were. I have been living in Australia for almost 12 years now. I have been foolish and never thought to ask about the way to order different sizes of drinks at the pub because I am not a huge ale drinker. Yesterday while Adam and I were at Moonee Beach Tavern I decided to order a pint of cider because it was on tap. I assumed that a pint was the smallest but I was wrong. At least I didn’t have to go up to the bar again. The pint lasted me the entirety of our visit for lunch. I asked Adam who suggested that I call our friend Hemmo (Mark Hemmings) because he was a beer connoisseur. I texted him my question, He called me back with the answer. I can’t remember the exact ounces like he gave me but I now know the order of sizes. It goes middies, schooner, pint. I was silly enough to think it went the other way. I am not a huge drinker so Adam and Mark both forgave my ignorance.

When I lived in the states I never went up to the bar and ordered a mug of beer. Adam asked me what I did and I responded,”I just ordered a coke or water, or something with spirits in it.” I am not exactly what you would say if you were to go up to a bar to order beer in the states. Some of the guys that I met at a bar would just order a pitcher of beer . If any man or woman who knows the correct terminology of ordering a beer at a US bar could you please fill me in.

Yellow Wattle and Mimosas


Pink Mimosa my favorite wattle from childhood.

Pink Mimosa my favorite wattle from childhood.

Australian yellow wattle Adam's favorite wattle

Australian yellow wattle Adam’s favorite wattle

It never ceases to amaze me how much Adam and I have in common even though we grew up in different hemispheres. When I grew up in Louisiana, the pink mimosa were always blooming around late May to June right around the time my birthday came along and even until Judy’s birthday which is July 8. Now the pink mimosa that I see around Australia are blooming in late spring to early summer which would be November until January. When I saw the mimosa blooming towards the back of the house we bought in Werrington back in 2005 I knew it was a sign for me. If you are new to following my blog, you will find out that I am a believer of signs.

When I first came to Australia, I asked Adam which scent did he love the most. He told me the yellow wattle which is pictured above. I love the yellow wattle as well. It blooms from June until around August. I always saw it blooming everywhere we went during my first visit to this land I now call home. It tickles me that we both have affection for the wattle. They are related even though it might be somewhat distant and bloom around the time of my birthday even if it’s in different hemispheres. It always brings a smile to my dial when I think of the mimosa and the yellow wattle.

The wonder and beauty of nature always astounds me. If I can draw or see a connection, I will be the first to admit it. Perhaps it’s the hopeless romantic in me. There is no shame in admission. Do you have any connections that you make that you take as signs? If so, please share!

The Filler


This morning I came to a huge realization about myself. It seems to me that in this life, we often find ourselves in roles. Some people are natural-born leaders. Others are great followers but what happens to those who fall in between the cracks.

I think that I am the filler. I have always fallen into this role. It’s a role that I do pretty well. I know in high school, I always wanted to sing first soprano but my choir teacher noticed how blendable my voice was. I had tried out for the special choir and got placed in it but my role there was not to be first soprano but to be second soprano, or first alto whenever there was  a need for the voice. When I expressed my disappointment about not being first soprano, my teacher explained to me that there are a lot of people who have voices that stick out but it is very rare to have a voice that blends so well.

My very first job that I went for in the states was at a resort. I applied to become a waitress but I was selected to do housekeeping. I hate housekeeping but I actually began to excel at that job. By the time I had finished, I was able to clean and restock 4 condos for the resort and filled in one day at the hotel where I was working. It was really interesting to see the inner workings of a resort.

When I moved to Florida with my ex, I ended up becoming a checkout chick at a grocery store. I then worked my way helping the front end with supervising the other cashiers when the front end manager went to lunch which granted me another opportunity to fill in as an office clerk which was something I thought would really like to do. It was a challenging role. I loved being able to interact with the customers at the service desk, as well as check out and in tills for the cashiers. I normally did the closing shift but I also knew how to open the store as well. It was bittersweet when I left the job. I had been toying with the idea of applying for front end manager but we moved back to Louisiana so I could be closer to my mom.

The next job I had been as a teacher’s aide/driver for my brother-in-law at the time who needed a substitute since his teacher’s aide was ill. I hoped I would get the job if she retired. He didn’t promise me the role but I prayed about it a lot. I ended up learning how to read Grade 2 braille but I have lost the skill because I haven’t been using it. The old adage if you don’t use it you lose it strikes a chord with me. I am pretty sure though, if I wanted or practiced with it, I could do it relearn it over again.  When his teacher’s aide retired, I took the teacher’s aide test, passed, and was asked if I would like the position which I jumped at. I loved working with the students, driving, and it was never a boring day.

When I moved to Australia, I ended up volunteering at RBS now known as Vision Australia with Adam who was working in the Art Union Office. I worked in different areas so when I was offered a pay position at the Equipment Resource Centre, I couldn’t believe my luck. I had been applying for different paid positions at times but never got selected. I was pretty happy with that role too. It was only casual but it was fun. I learned how to use another finance program, had lots of variety, and helped with inventory. The other person who was working there retired. There was a restructure, change in the person managing the area, and I applied for the job when it was made available hoping I would get it. Everybody that I knew thought I was a shoe in. I went in to the interview, was nervous but I thought for sure that I would still get the job because I already knew the way the Centre worked but I didn’t get the job. The manager said I couldn’t demonstrate equipment correctly. For some reason, I was not selected and I suppose I should have fought the decision. There was a part of me that was crushed. We were going overseas to visit my family. I didn’t apply for work again for 10 years.

Now with Adam’s perseverance and prodding I am out back in the workforce. I am now doing temp work which I like a lot. I am meeting new people. I am learning new things and honing skills that I have. I find that I am enjoying being out and about. I can’t believe I sold myself short for so bloody long. I have lots to offer. I like being able to fill roles for my employers. I would love to find a permanent job but these temp jobs that I am doing are helping me regain confidence that I had forgotten I should have.  Maybe one day, I will find a role and when I fill it, they won’t want me to go.

I enjoy being the filler. I like the challenges that I come across. I am finding another voice that I haven’t used in a time. I sort of feel like I have been in a cocoon of sorts. I am emerging feeling brand new. So what I am not the outer part of the sandwich. I am in an important role. I am the filler. I hope you are filled with love, peace, and hope.

 

Message In A Bottle


Yesterday I was going through my morning rituals when I heard this song which I love by one of my favorite bands on Pandora Radio. As I was about to get in the shower, it sort of hit me that this is how I feel about blogging.  Sometimes you just write because you are in moment or you want to just share something, anything that will make a connection to someone else.

It’s the most exhilarating feeling when you know you have done this. I don’t write for the money. I don’t write for the fame. I write for the love of sharing. I write for a connection with others. It’s like everytime I hit that publish button I am hoping, praying that I will get to read from someone who is also sending out a SOS. I am reaching out in hope that maybe somebody identifies with the moment and will actually acknowledge it. I have gotten a few messages back. When this happens, it’s just amazing. The likes are fantastic too but the wow factor for me is when I actually get to read a comment.

I can’t imagine ever getting a million responses back like he talks about in the song but that feeling of wonder I identify with so vividly when I read a comment or see a like. Maybe one day I am going to see lots of responses but until then I will keep on writing, keep on sharing, and keep on reading! Do you ever feel like this? If so, please feel free to share!

45 and feeling fine


Di 45 and 2 daysTwo days ago I turned 45. Yes, that’s a big old cold sore on my bottom lip which I wish I could just erase but sometimes when I stress too much I get those. I was going to blog on my birthday about turning 45 but I have been busy this last week with a temp job which has actually gotten me out of my comfort zone. I had forgotten how fun it was to actually be out of the house and doing things even if it was just data entry. This is the first time since last Monday that I have actually gotten a decent amount of time to do something with my own desktop. I tried taking pictures hiding my ugly cold sore but you know what, that is just my vanity getting the better of me.

I got my haircut yesterday which I like. I used to like it long but as I get older, I find that I like having it shorter. I think it keeps me looking younger as well. The upkeep is easy. As you can see I am in my favorite colour. I am a passionate person and think purple is a passionate color.  There is a watercolor on the wall behind me which is of one of my favorite Australian birds: Kookaburras. 

My husband and I were both born as summer babies. He was born in February and I was born in June. Now I know what you are thinking but I am not lying. I was born in the Northern Hemisphere where June is warm bringing summer to a start. He was born in the Southern Hemisphere where February is the middle of the summer season. The water is just about perfect for a swim in the ocean. It has taken me a while to get used to having a cold birthday. I guess it really isn’t that cold but it is a far cry from being able to have fresh peaches on my birthday which my mom used to treat me with.  Last year, I had my first hot birthday in 9 years when we went back to the states to visit family. It was a fantastic trip which I am so happy we did. I have really great memories of New Mexico and of course, meeting my older siblings and some of their own children in Las Vegas on the 18th of June, 2012. I am glad that I didn’t die that night but if I had, I don’t think I could have been any happier at the time. We ended our USA trip by going to Maui which was AMAZING for our tenth wedding anniversary. 

I try to be the type of person who stays positive but sometimes it’s a huge struggle. I hope I get to live another 45 years but if I don’t, at least I can say I gave things a go. I get scared and sometimes let my fear stop me but I know if I want to live I have to persevere. I have to go out of my comfort zone. I need to make sure not to hurt anyone in my life, try to help to make this a better place to live in because if I don’t make an effort, who will? Geeze, I didn’t mean to get so preachy there.

Turning 45 isn’t so bad, it’s just a number. I know I may not have a perfect body but I love the skin that I am. I really love the person I am becoming and hope that the impact that I make on others is positive. I know I have a very blessed life. I was born into a very loving family which has a really cool dynamic. I am married to the man of my dreams (Literally, I am not exaggerating.) Even with my blessings though, I wonder about what could be or could have been but I am learning in my life, it’s the moments that make it great. Every last detail whether it be bad or good, it impacts on me. It makes me who I am and it is I who choose how I will make changes to myself, which things to hold on to and which to throw away. It’s a pretty cool concept.

I know I have a tendency to over think but that’s what makes me who I am. I thank God for that and the way He helps me filter through all the crap. I am a huge believer in signs. I can be over sensitive, shy, overbearing, over the top, but it’s just me being me and that’s the best way I can be! I don’t want to be anyone else. 

We all have paths to choose and how we choose them make us unique. I thank God for the diversity of the universe.  

I am proud to blog I am 45 and feeling fine for the most part. I would look better without that cold sore but it’s only temporary. Just like I am, temporary but happy to be alive and feeling fine.

 

Paul Mac: Song writer, producer, musician


When I moved to Australia back in 2002, I had no idea who Paul Mac was. I am hoping with this blog to expose you to some of my happy discoveries which I really treasure. Paul Mac is just a musical genius in my opinion. He has a wonderful ear as well as poetic style which I fell in love with when I heard “Just The Thing” from his album 3000 Feet High. I loved it so much, I bought the album. As I listened to it, I loved every song which he had written. It really spoke to me.

His next album, Panic Room, was really great too. The first song released was Sunshine Eyes which reminded me of Adam except it wasn’t Adam’s eyes I thought about it was Adam’s smile. Again, every song on that album was just terrific.

He has worked on many projects which I think are enhanced because of his ear. There is something very special about Paul Mac. I love the way he selects different singers for different songs. It’s just magical. I just discovered soundcloud and am thinking of maybe doing an audio blog with it. The idea is definitely appealing.
Missy Higgins does a collaboration with Paul Mac that he has posted there from a movie of a classic song by a band called Sherbet. The song is Howzat! It was a really different take which I liked. I liked the original but the version they did was pretty cool. I have added the two songs below so you can have a listen!


Paul Mac, if you ever want a back up singer or lyrist please look me up! HEE HEE! A girl can dream!

Transparency And Compartmentalization: Coexistence?


Transparency and Compartmentalization can they coexist? I often wonder if that is a contradiction or a mere fact. The reason why I say this is because I like to think I can be very transparent but I can also compartmentalize a lot of things in my life. There are certain things that I want to share with my husband and do but he just doesn’t get what I am trying to share. I end up filing it away into the just for me compartment.

I also find that there are certain things I don’t share with certain people outside my marriage. I know I act certain ways in front of them because I don’t think  it’s appropriate to be my true self. If I am in a church crowd, I won’t be throwing the f bomb around at all. I won’t let the dirty Dianna come out to play. The grot  in me stays tightly locked away from being exposed even if I feel like letting a f word escape.  Shit has passed my lips in a lapse of judgement but that is not very often.

Some things are best left to be in compartments but then you wonder what others are thinking so you end up exposing yourself a bit more. I know I do at least. If I think that what I have exposed has in any way compromised myself, I just put it back in the box so to speak. If I know the person doesn’t like what I have tried to share, I will file it away in the do not disturb ever again compartment.

There are some things you share only with family. There are some things you don’t want to share with family. There are things that you share with certain friends but you would never share with one in particular because it’s such a tricky slippery slope you will go on if you do. Surely I am not the only person to have these thoughts or asked these questions. I just choose to express them in a blog which is helping me to come to a certain conclusion.

For me transparency and compartmentalization can co-exist. I suppose it’s a lot like that line from Salt N Peppa’s rap song None Of Your Business which says: “Opinions are like assholes and everybody’s got one”. In each compartment that I have created in my life there is transparency which I strive for because no one really likes a liar.  It makes life less complicated because the truth is much simpler to remember than a lie!