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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.

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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!

Skywalk at Dorrigo National Park


I know it’s been a long while since I have actually sat down to do a blog for Thoughts of yaussiechick. I have been working pretty much none stop for 6 weeks which was awesome. The place I am temping at now has not wanted me since Monday. I am not sure when I will be in next but at least I did get a chance to take Adam and myself up to Dorrigo National Park last Thursday. I am finally feeling like sharing again. I always want to share but after not working for ten years and then going back to work for 6 weeks I didn’t really feel like being at the keyboard. Now that I have the time to do it, I am looking forward to showing you a couple of clips that I took at the Skywalk at the Discovery Centre at Dorrigo National Park. Adam and I also did an audio blog but I am not sure how interesting it would be for you guys. It is almost 47 minutes long. I did take quite a few pictures on the little walk that we did.

At the end of the Skywalk, there is a little pedestal for you to place your camera on so that you can take pictures on yourself with a timer. The camera that I had didn’t have a timer so I choose to do a tiny video.

I followed this up by trying to take a picture of the view of the ocean from the Skywalk platform but forgot to switch the mode on the camera so you get to see a glimpse of it as video.

It’s winter now in our little piece of paradise. It’s cooler in the mountains but as you can see, Adam and I don’t have to rug up like we would if we lived in a cold climate such as the northern regions of North America. I think we sort of regretted not bringing light jackets but over all, when we were walking we didn’t notice the coolness in the air. I am pretty spoiled.

The drive up to Dorrigo National Park off the Pacific Highway is on Waterfall Way. It took me almost 2 hours to drive up there. It would have been quicker if there hadn’t been construction going on but hey, I am not really complaining. When you drive on the Waterfall Way, you do get to see a couple of waterfalls as you drive past Thora to get to Dorrigo National Park. In the town of Dorrigo there is another waterfall that you can drive to and then walk up to. It’s called Dangar Falls. Adam and I have done that before. I will have to delve into my computer to try to share more of the sights I have seen to share with you all.

This has got to be one of the best reasons why I feel in love with the Coffs Coast. It is to me like a piece of paradise on earth. If you ever have the inclination to come to Australia, I would strongly suggest visiting this area. Imagine being able to live either in the mountains or down by the coast and be able to drive up into the mountains to see the beauty of nature so close to your home. It’s a real mind blower! I still pinch myself when I realize that I actually live here.

I have always loved waterfalls. I have always loved being out in nature. I have always loved the mountains and the beach. I look at the beauty of Australia and know I have only begun to scratch the surface. This land is ancient. It’s people so wise because they valued the land and spirits. I know I am not born Aboriginal but I really appreciate their outlook on their heritage. There is so much to learn from them.

I saw this on the walk and thought to myself how beautiful to make this connection.

I saw this on the walk and thought to myself how beautiful to make this connection.

I had never seen fern trees until I came to Australia. I get to see them when I drive to work on Toormina Road. I still feel wonder. You know you are looking at something extraordinary. You see how timeless this land is and how blessed it was to still have trees and grasses that haven’t really changed much at all.

I tried to take a good picture of a fern tree to share. I don't think I did it justice.

I tried to take a good picture of a fern tree to share. I don’t think I did it justice.

The actual trunk of the fern tree. I don't think you can really see how it's growing.

The actual trunk of the fern tree. I don’t think you can really see how it’s growing.

Another view of a fern tree from the top.

Another view of a fern tree from the top.

I love seeing new growth in the forest.

I love seeing new growth in the forest.

Even the Brushturkey wanted to pose for me while Adam and I refueled after lunch.

Even the Brush turkey wanted to pose for me while Adam and I refueled after lunch.

I realize that I am not really doing Dorrigo National Forest the great write-up that it deserves. Adam and I only ventured a little bit. We want to go again in the summer but it was a nice change all the same for us. I don’t think I will ever fall out of love with the Coffs Coast.

Here is a link to help you decide if you would like to come see the beauty of the area http://www.coffscoast.com.au/

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!

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!

 

 

 

 

 

My 50th blog


Adam on Cabin's BeachFor my 50th blog, I thought I would share something that I wrote for Adam after he first came to see me in 2001. It’s really funny how things happen. I like to think things happen for a reason. I am sure there are probably skeptics out there. It’s fine because I have enough faith. I always say that to Adam half jokingly. I know I could probably do something more spectacular but since it’s my 50th blog I wanted to do something special for myself and my fella.

I Was Made For You by Dianna Miller April 27, 2001

I was made for you
Every fiber of my being says it’s true.
I was made for you.
You say my name and I am moved.
With each caress and tender kiss
I know the meaning of happiness’ bliss.
Even though we are miles apart
I know you hold me in your heart
Just as you know it’s the same for me.
I know that we are meant to be.

Something Sentimental


Today I am cheating a little bit. OK, I am cheating a lot because I feel this old email was so beautiful I wanted to share it with everyone. I can’t take credit for writing it. I am pretty sure you may have already seen this in one form or another but it’s a great reminder. I love this a lot and while working on my facebook page stumbled upon it. A friend had sent it to me, I shared it with Adam back in our courting days and now I am sharing it with you. With the week I am having, I can’t help but feel sentimental.

signpost
Maybe

Maybe God wanted us to meet the wrong people before meeting the right one
so that when we finally meet the right person, we will know how to be
grateful for that gift.

Maybe when the door of happiness closes, another opens, but often times we
look so long at the closed door that we don’t see the one which has been
opened for us.

Maybe the best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch and swing
with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best
conversation you’ve ever had.

Maybe it is true that we don’t know what we have got until we lose it, but
it is also true that we don’t know what we have been missing until it
arrives.

Giving someone all your love is never an assurance that they will love you
back. Don’t expect love in return; just wait for it to grow in their heart;
but if it does not, be content it grew in yours.

It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone, an hour to like someone,
and a day to love someone, but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.

Don’t go for looks; they can deceive. Don’t go for wealth; even that fades
away. Go for someone who makes you smile because it takes only a smile to
make a dark day seem bright. Find the one that makes your heart smile.

There are moments in life when you miss someone so much that you just want
to pick them from your dreams and hug them for real.

Dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go; be what you want to
be, because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you
want to do.

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you
strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, enough hope to make you happy.

Always put yourself in others’ shoes. If you feel that it hurts you, it
probably hurts the other person, too.

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything;they
just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

Happiness lies for those who cry, those who hurt, those who have searched,
and those who have tried, for only they can appreciate the importance of
people who have touched their lives.

Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss and ends with a tear.

The brightest future will always be based on a
forgotten past, you can’t go on well in life until you let go of your past
failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.
Live your life so that when you die, you are the one who is smiling and
everyone around you is crying.