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!
Adam and I parted from Lisa yesterday. We knew it was going to happen at some point since she had things she needed to sort out before she comes out to visit us. It wasn’t an easy day for me and I am pretty sure it was the same for Lisa. She was flying with Delta while Adam and I flew with United. It was pretty cool that her gate was right next to ours. She almost missed her flight to Atlanta so we didn’t get to hug. I suspect that was a good thing because if we had, I think I wouldn’t have let go.
Our two weeks together were pretty great. We were almost glued at the hip. I have never experienced this sort of connection with someone outside my family with the exception of Adam, even with him it took a little time because our friendship blossomed over time. We had conversed for many hours via the phone or ICQ. With Lisa though, it was different. Sometimes it’s hard to put this into words.
I went to bed on the 14th feeling very melancholy. I had been fighting off tears and finding it very hard to sleep because I knew what the 15th was going to bring. I always hate leaving family. Margaret and Judy I grew up with. It hurt to leave them too. I started crying as we pulled away from their place and headed out towards VPS. I wanted to be brave for Lisa. I didn’t want to break down and cry in front of her because she’s hurting too. She has lots of things to sort through. I am thankful though that we had two magical weeks together. We drove all the way from Huntington, West Virginia to Philadelphia, PA. We then drove from Philly to Crestview, Florida with a drop off in Augusta, Georgia for Sandy. I had always wanted to do a road trip and Lisa was great company as well as driver. I will never forget the fun we had and a few scares too with crazy drivers.
I am writing this on the 16th of June in Las Vegas at my eldest sister’s house. I know we will enjoy our 5 days here and then fly to Los Angeles for 4 days before we fly back to Australia. Yesterday was hard but aren’t we always parting ways in one shape or another? In this journey of life, I am beginning to realize that I am always parting ways with others. Sometimes the connections are very short but the ones with the most meanings are outstanding. They really impact you in your life. I can only speak about my own realizations. I firmly believe that things don’t happen without a reason. God sends us blessings in mysterious ways even when we are parting ways. God is love and love lasts forever.
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.
My taste in music can be called eclectic. My fave genre would have to be funk but I do enjoy other sorts varying from pop, smooth jazz, classic rock as well as pub rock. Lately it seems I have been grooving to house and electronica too. My main focus today will be on Australian groups. I have heard some really great groups and solo artists from Australia since I moved here. It seems a lot of groups think they have to go the USA to make it big or leave their mark on the entertainment world but this list I am putting out today are the top ten that I love.
There have been groups that have reached icon status from Australia. The biggest one has to be INXS followed by Men At Work and Midnight Oil. The Little River Band made it big in the 70s. There are so many great groups to choose but this is my top ten.
10. Sneaky Sound System: the first time this group came to my attention was at a NYE that channel 9 promoted in 2006. They were quite lively and I really like their style. I Love It!
Off their second album
Adam and I love this one which is from their latest album. “From Here To Everywhere”
9. Rogue Traders: Another band that I can’t seem to get enough of. They seem to sample quite a bit but who doesn’t these days. The first album I bought by them was “Here Comes The Drums” which featured “Voodoo Child”. I brought this album with me to share with my family in Louisiana at my niece’s high school graduation. Every track off that album I really loved. Here are 3 tracks that I can’t seem to hear enough!
This one I have song on my Playstation 3 so much I think Adam wants earplugs!
8. The Presets: This group reminds me of Depeche Mode a bit but I really love their style. I got this album for my 40th birthday. I could be quite upset but when I hear this song the good mood comes back to me ever strong!
7. The Potbelleez: Their song Don’t Hold Back was used in a jeep commerical but it’s on my mp3 list. I do love dance music! and this one here reminds me of my family reunion in 2012!
6. John Butler Trio: The leader of this group writes some really great songs. I love his use of lyrics. He’s more folk and blues. My all time fave by him is Another fave: Losing You though makes me cry.
5. Icehouse: Iva Davies is another wonderful songwriter who also has an amazing voice.
4. Men At Work: I know my age is showing here. I was a child of the eighties but these guys were terrific! I am not going to feature the usual songs by them but the ones I really loved that never got airplay much! My all time favorite is:
3. Cold Chisel: I didn’t know about these legends of Aussie Rock until I settled in Australia. I am sure this band has paid it dues. This is from their latest album and I must say it’s a keeper. I get goosebumps listening to it. I featured this tree before on my facebook once but it’s still a great song. love Ian Moss’ voice and Jimmie Barnes’ harmonizing.
2. Australian Crawl (Aussie Crawl): Another group I never heard off until I migrated to Australia but they do have some great songs.
1. INXS: I loved this band since I was living in the states. There is something about them that just defies words. Andrew and Michael together created some awesome songs.
Because we all have a devil inside!
I know there are many other great groups from Australia but these are my top ten. There are many honorable mentions but I thought I would just share my top 10. Please feel free to share/add!
I was driving Adam and I home from our training in Coffs Harbour when I took the turn off for Woolgoolga and noticed the name change to the road we take to get us home. It’s called Solitary Island Way. This gave me an aha moment which I wanted to share with you today.
Today we heard a lot of things at training however I am not really wanting to share all the pearls of wisdom that I heard there because I am still processing everything in my own sort of way. Please bare with me as I muddle through my thoughts to express exactly what my aha moment sprang from. I am always searching inside myself wanting to improve things not only for myself but for those who are in my life. I was just driving when I thought about how sometimes we all feel like we are alone but in actuality we are all connected.
The Solitary Islands are on the eastern coast of Australia. The Coffs Coast which is part of the Mid North Coast of New South Wales is also part of the Solitary Marine Park. You can see these islands dotting up and down the coast of the area where I live. I was thinking to myself today how alone I could feel about my life if I let myself fall into that trap but I have to take a look at the bigger picture. Things are not so black and white. We are only as alone as we make ourselves. If we reach out to others our sense of loneliness diminishes. We just have to watch our attitude because that is a key to impacting on others. If we have a can do attitude we will be able to do whatever we put our mind to. If we get in a rut and are happy to wallow in mediocrity, mediocrity is what we will sow.
I always love going to Muttonbird Island because I always see things in a different perspective. I am very blessed to live so close to Solitary Marine Park. I live in a country for the most part that values its environment. Australia isn’t perfect but I find that I am very blessed to call it home. I can choose to live a solitary life or I can choose to share what abundance I have been given be it a kind word or positive thought to someone I come across.
The Solitary Island Way may seem alone but it is part of a wonderful environment which impacts on every living thing it touches. Even a rock or grain of sand can make a difference to the world that it is in. Take a part of it away and it could impact something or someone else in a negative way.
May you find the blessing of another day and never feel alone. There is someone out there who needs to hear from you. You can be the difference to brighten someone’s day!
Photo Credit for lighthouse Michael Scott taken at Woolgoolga Lookout
Ever had one of those moments when you just go where do I go from here? Yeah, I am having one of those moments a lot lately. In fact today, I was instructed to just go have a good think about what I want to do. I am really good at that. Thinking, it’s like a natural thing to do especially for me. I do it non stop. In fact at times it can cause insomnia. I can focus on things a bit too much at times that it will actually prevent me from moving forward. I will ponder, wonder, and concentrate on something come up with nothing but it’s still fermenting in the back of my mind until I finally get the light bulb going off. I like that moment the most when I know exactly what I will do but the real challenge can be finding that light bulb moment.
I can fumble around in the dark so to say not as good as my man but figuratively. You would think at 45 I would know exactly what I want to do with my life. I find though even though I might plan something, it won’t go according to plan. I can adapt. I am not afraid of change. I can actually adapt well to change and try to work with it sort of like a willow caught up in the wind bending to whims of the wind but not breaking totally.
I can be a very passionate person. I have lots of varied interests which can take me down many different tracks. I am just trying to find out exactly what I want to do professionally which will reward both my employer and myself.
There are so many things I need to or want to do. I know there are things that need to be done more like praying and meditating. I sort of pray while I am thinking. I have conversations with God a lot. I look for the answers in subtle signs or turns in conversation. For non-believers I know you may not believe but it helps me to do this sort of prayer while soul-searching. I can hear the sceptics going ‘Hogwash’ but it works for me and that is what is most important.
I need to sit down and do SMART goals. I know that would help me a lot. I need to look at the big goal and just break it down further into more manageable short-term goals so that I can get to the big goal. It just getting that big goal sorted out. I feel a bit like Robert Frost in The Road Not Taken. I have two paths I can go down and even if it doesn’t work out the way I think it will, I will still be glad I went on the journey that I took.
I will be soul-searching for a bit but I am sure I will find my focus. I will get encouragement and draw on the strength that I know I can handle whatever may come. Each day brings new challenges which will help make me be me.
We have been experiencing some king tides of late. Yesterday was especially a big one. I took the Kodak Sports Video Camera and the playlist below is the following montage of footage that I took. I hope you enjoy what I took!
Do you know how many years it has finally taken me to be comfortable with saying this? I would have to say a good 7. I never really had a white Christmas growing up in Louisiana but I eat white Christmas at Adam’s sister’s house when we go for Christmas celebrations. I am pretty positive she will have a batch ready for us to take back home with us after our next visit which will be this weekend. Just encase you don’t know what White Christmas is, it is rice bubbles, glace cherries, and Copha mixed together sometimes with nuts if you like for texture. I know I am missing some other ingredients. It’s a lovely sweet treat. Oh Rice Bubbles is called Rice Krispies in the States because this cereal goes by other names. I never had this treat until I came to Australia.
Some people may think that what I am saying is a sacrilege. I know a majority of my readers are in the Northern Hemisphere and relish having a cold Christmas. Australia has a tendency to follow British tradition with a hot baked dinner but sometimes they do their own stuff. I love listening to Australian Christmas carols. I remember fondly my very first Christmas in Canberra with Adam’s family. I was so excited to be able to go swimming in the pool. I could never do that in the states it was too bloody cold. The pool wasn’t exactly warm but I was game to do it. It also helped I was tipsy too and determined to say I was in the pool on Christmas Day. Adam’s Dad got a great laugh when I came back in shivering and tipsy but ever so pleased with my dalliance in the pool. Adam refused after he put his toe in. He stood outside with me and listened to me while I splashed around. I didn’t stay in very long but I did boast to my sisters’ when I rang them on their Christmas day that I did swim on Christmas day.
This Christmas will be a quiet one. We are having our good friends the Jary’s come over for Christmas lunch. We’ll probably head down to the beach for the dogs to run on Mullaway beach. It’s suppose to be a very lovely day. It will be nice to be home for Christmas for a change. I have only had 3 Christmases in my own home since I moved to Australia. I am not complaining but there is just something special about being in your own house.
I have never been one to really like cold weather. I know I was born in Alaska but we moved when I was 6 weeks old. I was then a southern raised lass. First two years were in San Antonio, Texas and then we moved to Leesville, Louisiana which I gladly call my hometown. The majority of my life was in the South. Now I can really claim to be a Southern because I live in Australia which is in the Southern Hemisphere. All my seasons are opposite to what I was raised with and I can drive north to visit Adam’s sister but be reminded of Southwestern Louisiana where my dad grew up and we visited as a child as I pass the sugar cane fields heading up past Grafton. I could almost imagine myself near New Iberia if it wasn’t for the dang mountains covered in Eucalyptus trees in the background. It’s as if I was graced with everything I ever dreamed of since I discovered this great Southern Land which gave birth to my dream man and took me in with such love and compassion.
So no, I am not dreaming of a White Christmas that Bing Crosby sang about but I am dreaming of a White Christmas made with love for me and my darling by his beautiful youngest sister and her darling boy Jack. May you have a joyous Christmas and a wonderful New Year.
I leave you with this lovely Australian Christmas Carol I found on youtube!
I am not exactly the best party planner around but I do like to be in good company with family and friends around the world. I was thinking to myself about New Year’s 99 and how the Today Show in the states showed the year 2000 coming into the world across the time zones. Wouldn’t that be a fantastic way to have a party for peace! I certainly think so! If we could have parties for New Year’s Eve, wouldn’t it be fun to have it for Peace.
This is my invitation to the world to bring in Peace one time zone at a time. We can all participate and play our favourite artists. I would like to have my family and friends around the world connect with me via Skype for some quality one on one time. If you don’t like skype, just put out positive vibes on 31/12/2013. We can bring about a change for peace one moment at time. We can savour being in good company and promoting peace together.
I will leave my Skype open all day on 31/12/2013 until it is 1/01/2014 in every part of the world encase you would like to join my peace party on-line! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know that you would like to participate in my party for peace for my Skype id!
Party on Garth! Party on Wayne! Party on for Peace!
Here are a few of my favourite peace party blogs:
I’ve always loved tennis and never really thought I was that athletic but I really enjoy goofing around with a racket and ball. This goes all the way back to the my youth. I begged my parents for a tennis racket and balls to bang on the barn my dad built with the help of my brother, Kevin and myself. It wasn’t a really huge barn; it was more like a wooden shed but it really fed my imagination into overdrive. I would ask my sisters to play tennis with me but when they would get bored or didn’t feel like playing I could be found banging the tennis ball against a wall of the barn before or after I did my chores. I would pretend I was competing in Wimbledon or the French Open. I was just mad about it.
When I went to Uni, I discovered racquetball. I always wanted to keep banging the ball against the wall, any wall that I could find but as I got older I just didn’t follow through like I used to do. In the numerous moves that I have done, I always wanted to go back to playing racquetball even by myself but of course, I never did do it.
Last week, I was talking with Adam and we decided it was time for me to get another racquet as well as balls so that I could pick up my favourite sport that I liked to do. Today we went to town because he had an appointment. He also booked me some time at a squash court. We both thought it best for me to start out with half an hour. Lenny was with us too and when we got to the squash court, I was given court 4 which had a glass wall. Adam sat outside the court I was in on a couch with Lenny in harnass sitting on the floor. I went inside and started banging the ball with my new racquet. I wish we had recorded Lenny’s reaction. He was actually making a crying sound. He was very excited in his harness trying to get to me so he could play as well. It actually got pretty distracting for me. Poor Adam couldn’t even listen to his podcasts that he had on his Iphone. I had to move them away so we both could be able to do what really wanted to do. When I came out to talk to Adam, he asked me why I was crying. I responded it was Lenny not me. I am having fun and laughing at your dog so I moved them to a table further down so that Lenny couldn’t be tormented by seeing me enjoying myself in the court.
I learned two things today. 1. Don’t take a guide dog with you when you want to play racquetball because the dog will create a racket because he can’t be in the court with you. 2. I really loved playing racquetball and was glad I only did it for 30 minutes. I think the last time I played it was 1989. I am looking forward to doing it again and building up my stamina so that I can play for an hour but I think that will take a little more time.
I am a little sore and tomorrow I may regret forgetting to warm up and cool down but I had a blast. I can’t wait to do it again.
Racquetball revisited: I loved every minute of it and hope to do it at least 3 times a week!