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Better Laid Plans


Maybe you have been reading my thoughts for a while and maybe this is new to you. I always try to keep things light and breezy. I know I don’t like being the one who is dark and gloomy. Who likes being around somebody who is all doom and gloom? Realistically it’s not possible to be little miss sunshine either but I do try to stay positive.

My husband and I traveled to America for my brother’s Memorial and decided to turn the trip into a month-long vacation. We were hoping to come back on happier terms. You have to make the best of a situation however you come across it. I think that is a no brainer. We wanted to do this trip next year. We had wanted to see all my siblings individually. We are doing this now; it’s just been expedited. I had wanted to be reunited with my brother, Kevin, to hug him and get to know his lovely wife, Lisa, and his step-daughter Sandy. I did get to see Kevin when we face-timed. Nothing though can compare to actually being in the same room with the one you love. I do take solace that I had got to see him even if it was through a video link because I hadn’t seen his face for over 20 years.  We laughed and looked forward to seeing each other. Every thing though changed for us all as it is apt to do.

We are getting to go places that we had never been to before. Adam and I have never been to West Virginia. We have gotten some really great quality time with Lisa and Sandy. I know Sunday the 15th is going to be a very hard day for Lisa and myself. We have been pretty much inseparable since I have hugged her on the 21st of May. We felt as if we had known each other very well even though it had been long talks on the phone or typing on Facebook.  I am dreading the 15th pretty much. We are going to have to part sometime. I know we will stay in contact because Kevin got us together. I feel very strongly about this.

I asked Lisa to join me on a road trip to see my brother Chuck in Philadelphia and my sisters Judy and Margaret in Florida. I would love to take her to see my other sisters in Nevada and California but Lisa has things she has to take care of back in West Virginia. We fly back to Australia on June 24th. The 25th won’t happen for Adam and myself because we will be flying across the international date line. We are used to losing and gaining days when we fly back and forth to the USA. Lisa and I had a great time traveling together down the eastern seaboard of the USA. I had never driven that much in the United States. We even took a trip to NYC with Chuck. Chuck was born in Brooklyn and I had traveled to NYC in 1996 with my mom, my sister Judy, and niece Cassie. Sandy, Adam, and Lisa were the “virgins” in NYC.

We started off in West Virginia and drove to Philadelphia. After Philadelphia we drove to Georgia so Sandy could stay with her cousin Mary. We then continued down to the panhandle of Florida to the city of Crestview. It’s sort of funny but I lived in the Fort Walton Beach area 20 years ago. It was interesting seeing all the changes and growth in the area. I looked forward to showing Adam the places I used to work and play at. We played in the Gulf of Mexico for a little bit. Today we are going to get our hair cut.

On the 15th we fly out to Las Vegas and Lisa returns back to West Virginia. I can’t wait for her to get her passport so I can show her our little piece of paradise. I know we are going to have a blast like we have had here. She has things though that she needs to sort out first before her trip to see us. I do know we are going to see each other again which is making me look forward to the reunion we will have. I know another post will be happening when that happens. After Las Vegas, we are heading to Los Angeles and then it’s back across the Pacific Ocean to Australia for us.

Yes, I know I had better laid plans in my head for our trip in 2015. I meant to take more time to visit friends as well as family but sometimes life happens and you have to make do with that you can. I know things didn’t turn out the way I had expected or desired. It’s not a perfect world. I had to make the most of what I have even with the sad ugly bits. I can build on what I have to make things better even if it’s just a little change.

If I can make someone smile or lighten the load even a little bit than I know I have done something good.

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?

A Lasting Imprint


Sometimes you think that you don’t really influence things around you or impact others but I came to a realization the other day after reading on Facebook about the death of a former coach whom I had as a homeroom teacher when I was in Seventh grade. Coach Causey was a really awesome teacher. He inspired a lot of students. I was really shook up and still can feel the effects of knowing he’s not back in Leesville. I feel so sad for his family because if I feel this bad, I can imagine how much worse it is for them since I have lost my own parents. I have an inkling of  the sense of loss that they are going through at this exact moment.

The role of the teacher is quite important in my eyes. Although I don’t have qualifications as a teacher through university training I have done scripture teaching in Australia voluntarily for a few years. I have stopped for now because I am doing a sort of hiatus on that. I felt strange teaching scripture in a public classroom even though the parents have chosen for the children to attend the half hour course that our parish church provided for the area where I lived. I found it very daunting at times because when I grew up in the United States, it was a no go zone. In the first amendment of the Constitution Thomas Jefferson wrote about separation of church and state. In some ways, I totally get where he is coming from because the government doesn’t have a right to dictate to its citizens how they should or shouldn’t worship God. It’s up to the individual to do so which is another reason why I pondered the decision to continue teaching the children in public school. The government didn’t supply the scripture teachers with any funds. It was truly up to the parents to decide if they wanted the child to go to the classes. There was separation of church and state to the fullest extent but I still felt funny. When I tried explaining my feelings to some of my colleagues they just didn’t quite get what I was trying to say. I suppose it’s because you had to experience living with the concept of separation of church and state. It’s like trying to explain to a natural-born Australian  why Americans think it’s their God-given right to bear arms (not all Americans do but a majority would rather die than contemplate giving up guns because they feel so strongly about this constitutional right.) You just have a mindset that feels ingrained. I know I am making a huge generalization here but if the shoe fits, by golly, I am going to wear it. For me it’s like trying to explain mateship if you have never been to an Anzac Day presentation, you just have to be there to experience the camaraderie that Australians have down to a tea.  One of the things I really treasure about Australia is how relaxed they can be. They know not to take things too seriously but they also know when to be serious. I find growing up in the United States that some Americans can be very narrow minded or think they are better than others because they were born in the best country in the free world. I know I was guilty of this impression myself for the longest time until I decided to move across the Pacific Ocean to be with the man I loved.  It was getting away from the USA that I actually found the scales of close- sightedness fell off of me.

I feel as if I have digressed here but I am hoping to tie this all together because even my generalizations have a lasting imprint. Coach Causey had a great love for the USA. I don’t think he had ever left Vernon Parish but he really understood to the best of his ability about the sacrifice Americans have done to try and protect their country for their future generations. In his own way, he left a lasting imprint on me and I am sure on many others who were fortunate to be taught by him. He instilled pride and respect to me about the great country of my birth. My own father served his country to the best of his ability.

In every life we come across, we do leave a lasting imprint. Sometimes the imprint maybe of love and happiness. Sometimes the imprint maybe of hurt and pain but I really hope that the lasting imprint I leave behind is of compassion, forgiveness, and love. In the end that is what I really want to strive for leaving a lasting imprint of love, peace, and tolerance.

What would you like to leave as a lasting imprint for future generations? 

Chance Encounter?


I know it’s not like me to do two blogs in one day but something has happened to me and I wanted to share it because it feels special. I would even venture to say extraordinary. I have noticed that things don’t just happen by chance. I am really realizing this today because there are things that I am feeling very bombarded with but not in a bad way.

I read two blogs earlier or maybe even 3 which really affected me. All 3 were written by fellow bloggers whom I really respect and they have a very loving spirit. The first one was by Anne Birkelo http://ambirkelo.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/tuff-enuf/ It was something that I really needed to read at the moment and still struggle with a lot but I am trying to rely more on the wonderful Spirit that our Lord has given us because I am trying to be the person that He wants me to be if I only learn to trust in Him more, to surrender all.

The other blog that I read was by Meg at Firsttimefreedom http://firsttimefreedom.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/brother-and-sister/. This reminded me that we all have family that we love and long to know better but the one that really smacked me upside my head was by Kozo http://everydaygurus.com/2013/05/15/daily-dose-of-vitamin-s/. He posed a really wonderful picture of needing our daily dose of vitamin S. I was trying to think of a really cool response to him but couldn’t think of one when a good friend of mine contacted me on Facebook to let me know that his dad arrived to his home and how happy he was. My friend has a really debilitating autoimmune disorder. His wife is trying to help him with their small children but I think the fact that his father, who traveled all the way to Canada from Australia just to be with them in his most troubled time of need just gave me a wow moment. I am not talking World of Warcraft sort of wow moment but a really goose flesh sort of in awe kind of moment when I knew for certain that there was a higher power out there. I look back on my life and where I thought I was and where I am heading with this hope that I will be able to help others on their journey in this life.

We all need encouragement and the best source I found for encouragement is a good dose of Vitamin S that Kozo blogged about. I found that Vitamin S (the Spirit) while talking with my friend who is in Canada. I try to see the Spirit in every person I encounter and I pray that they will see that same Spirit shining back when they encounter me. I am just a child compared to God and I want to make Him happy because He has blessed me with this wonderful life at this wonderful time. I know I had been very cynical inside but that boost from my friend has buoyed me up as well as these beautiful blogs that I have posted here. I will leave you with a photo I saw on Facebook today.

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For those who can not read the image it reads: Dear Lord,

Open my eyes to opportunities to bless others

for Your glory!

 

 

 

 

 

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!