Blog Archives

Solitary Island Way


View of the Solitary Islands from Muttonbird Island

View of the Solitary Islands from Muttonbird Island

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!

Be the rainbow and light the way to a better day!

Be the rainbow and light the way to a better day!

Photo Credit for lighthouse Michael Scott taken at Woolgoolga Lookout

My First Memories of God


If you don’t believe in God, that’s ok. He still believes in you. I know how silly it may seem to an unbeliever. I am not writing this to chastise the unbeliever but to maybe give them a clue about why I so fervently believe in God. I can thank Kozo Hattori for this blog because his post on 15 September started me on this train of thought. He posed a question about first memories of God and wanted comments but what I have to say will eventuate into a blog all on it’s own.

I was raised Roman Catholic. My very first memories were of going to church with my family. I am closest to my sisters Judy and Margaret because we were raised together. Michele, Aggie, Roberta, and Chuck were out of the house by the time we moved to Louisiana. Kevin left us when I was about 5 years old. He got married I think when I was 11. I know the month was June of 1978. I feel closest to him brother wise even though it’s been almost 30 years since I have seen him face to face. I feel as if I am digressing but I also feel this is sort of pertinent to understanding me.

We three girls were more than sisters. We still are close friends and confidants. We feel quite comfortable having discussions about God and spirituality. We could also thank our mom for this too because God was always the center of her world, followed by us and dad.

One of my first memories of God I was outside on Vernon Lake Road in our front yard playing with Judy. I am not sure about my age. I could have been three or five. We were just talking about all sorts of things. I know it was before I ever went to kindergarten. We were looking at a caterpillar. Judy was saying that it was going to turn into a butterfly one day. I looked up at the sun closing my eyes feeling the warmth of it. Seeing the images of Judy’s face and the caterpillar in all the different colours I had an aha moment. I thought about the creator, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit because that is what I was taught. It’s hard to put these sensations into words because it is hard to remember exactly but the residual is He is real. He created everything.

As the years go by and I get older, sometimes doubt creeps in. It’s at these moments when the doubt seems to stifle the feelings of wonder of God, I get little reminders of how special this world is and everything that is in it. We take things for granted.  I hold on to the inner child I have and try to let her out a lot. I love those aha moments when they come. I share them a lot on WordPress.

Throughout my spiritual journey, I have often gone to courses where I have had these aha moments. I know I am being called to being a really big work that I have already shared on my blog about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. One day, I hope to have started one or help start one. I am struggling with self-doubt but I know one day I will make it happen. I do believe that we are lucky to start out as little children full of wonder and awe because compared to God we are just little children. He is always there with us even when we think we are all alone. He sends special people to us in our most dire times to help us on our journey of life. We might think things will turn out one way. The reality of the situation may be even beyond what we ever expected.

Little children are wise. They are believers in magic. We all have magic inside ourselves. Children seem to see more than us so called adults. We can learn lots of things by being with little children. They can make us see more aha moments than we ever thought we could see for ourselves.

Thank you Kozo, and Jett for sharing your thoughts on God. It was a true pleasure listening to your wisdom! To listen to the pearls of wisdom given by the Hattori family please use this link: http://everydaygurus.com/2013/09/15/god-is-in-your-poop-and-pee/

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/

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!

Life Is A Rollercoaster


Today Adam and I first took Mitch out for a walk today to scout for dogs. Grady was going to get to go too but he decided to get narky with Mitch resulting in him being left home with Lenny. We did a reverse route that we did with Lenny the other day. There were going to be dogs for us to follow-up on what we learned. It was good to know that for when we wanted to work with Lenny which we did once I returned Mitch to the back yard. I got Lenny on lead and handed him over to Adam to get ready for his walk.

I find at times when I try to put into practice what I learn from observation I often wish I had taken notes instead of relying on my memory. I had recorded the session with Doug but after listening to it, it wasn’t as clear as we wanted because it had been drizzly so my raincoat and foot steps pretty much drowned out the sound of Doug’s voice.

We decided to go ahead today to work Lenny. All was going well. We found two little dogs behind their fence but the owner came out all apologies for the behavior of his dogs. I explained to him that it was fine. We wanted that sort of behavior to work on Lenny’s problem. The owner continued to chastise the dogs. Adam and I pushed on. We took a left onto the next street. I could see a beagle further down the road. I told Adam about it. We continued on with me giving him prompts. When we needed to make another left, the beagle and two other dogs came after Lenny who was of course, quite tense. I was trying to block Lenny’s vision when the second dog came up behind Lenny. Finally the owner came out calling for his dogs to come back.  Everything was a bit hazy for me to recall clearly since I am trying to monitor Adam, Lenny, and the other dogs. I know the owner had to come forward to get the other dog because he was lunging towards Lenny whose fur was all hackles and had completely tried to turn around in harness. I felt out of my depths but we persevered. As soon as I knew we were safe enough from the dogs for Adam to get Lenny refocused on him. Adam then gave him a nice scratch to get rid of the energy he had from the encounter. I knew we were going to encounter at least 3 more dogs behind fences. The next dog we encountered, Lenny was a tad distracted. Dogs were barking all around us. Every time Lenny would look to Adam, I would have Adam stop to reward him for the behavior.  The next house we would pass had two retrievers in it. I was hoping we’d get to walk past but of course, the owner came out because of the ruckus the dogs were making, looked down the street where we were walking up from, and instructed her dogs back into the house. We were a tad disappointed but we persevered. Over all, I think the walk was pretty successful. I am still a tad unsure but I think with practice we’ll become a well oiled machine.

Life is a roller coaster in more than one way. I think it’s the way that we handle the ups and downs that help define who we are. I can see this metaphor in action with the working relationship between Adam and Lenny. I also see it in my life in general. The walk with Lenny felt like a roller coaster. Roller coasters can be fun and scary all at the same time. A lot like life which is why I love this song so much. Enjoy!

No Pictures Please!


Adam, the dogs, and I walked one of our favorite routes this afternoon. It always seems that when I want to take pictures I never have my camera on me. I did have my iPhone but every time I retrieved my phone the birds or the wildlife would not cooperate with me.  I must remember to attach my Kodak to my dog bag so that I will never be in that situation again. Things happen though and sometimes even the best plans go awry.

There was a red and green parrot which I have checked in my bird book which appeared to be a king parrot. The kookaburras were out and about in the crowns of the eucalyptus trees. As we walked on top of Darkum Headland I kept a look out for kangaroos. Since there were none to be seen, I let the dogs off their leads. Normally they run down the side of the headland to jump into the water. Grady took off to fetch a stick. Lenny and Mitch were out of eye shot for a little while. Lenny normally comes bounding back to be loved on by Adam or myself.  The two labs had been gone quite a while as I sat throwing the stick that Grady was begging me to throw for him. I looked to the right to see what I thought was a seal in the water. I was calling for Lenny and Mitch like mad. The seal was in one of the dogs most favorite spots to swim. I felt panic rise inside me when Lenny returned to Adam. Grady was guarding his stick.  I noticed Mitch trying to swim out to the seal. I asked Adam to lead Lenny while I leaded Grady handing him Grady’s lead because I had to get to Mitch pronto before he tried to terrorize the seal. (I was having flashback to the kangaroo incident.) By the time I was heading down towards Mitch yelling for him to come, he was on top of a rock ledge trying to figure out the best way to get to the seal but he finally decided to come to me to my great relief as I was on the edge of the headland making slow progress to get to him. I put the lead back on him returning to Adam. I noticed that the seal was out ahead of us now straight on. I tried to get my iPhone to take a picture but it was like the seal was camera-shy. I couldn’t get the shot.

I am looking forward to being able to camp up top of Darkum Headland for whale watching. The season begins in June ending in November. I already have the perfect spot in which to set up the tripod with my camera as well as binoculars. I think to make my life easier though, I won’t be taking the dogs with us. It will make my life of eye spy with my lovely blue eyes totally enjoyable as well as stress free. Last year I really loved watching the whales.

We continued our walk to Cabins Beach with the dogs on lead. Once we got to the bottom of the stairs, we let the dogs free run for a bit. I normally want to get them back on lead as we head on the path to go to Mullaway Tourist Park because it’s just easier to get home that way instead of traipsing up the sandy side of the walkway that used to be very easy to go up and down with.  The beach was very pebbly. I also saw lots of shell washed up in bits and pieces but found a few little treasures to take home with me.

After we left the Tourist Park, we walked down the Boulevard to get home. I notice two eastern Rosella perched on a bush. I grabbed my iPhone only to discover they had disappeared.

This is why I have decided to call this blog no pictures please because the birds and seal were very elusive today. They didn’t want to be photographed. I do remember the snapshots in my head.  Better luck next time I hope! Thanks for reading!

Morning Walk With the Dogs and Adam


One of the most wonderful things about where I live is that the weather here is so good. I have heard that the Coffs Coast is one of the most habitable places climate wise. I happen to agree with that sentiment. I also like the fact that where I live is pretty rural but I can drive to two regional areas in less than an hour. I am close to the beach and can see beautiful mountains in the distance that aren’t snow-capped but full of eucalyptus trees. One day I am going to drive the Waterfall Way again in hopes of doing an audio blog on Dorrigo National Park. This is on Adam’s and my to do list but today we decided to do our usual walk of sorts.

Today’s adventure took us down to Mullaway beach. We walked the entirety of the beach. Along the way, Grady will forage for sticks for me to throw just for him. Mitch and Lenny will head in the surf or they will go bush bashing then run into surf with their treasure of decaying sponge or something foul-smelling. I am forever yelling furiously at them to drop it and leave it alone. The joys of owning labradors gives just disgust at times. Grady proceeded as usual to drop a stick which Adam trod on and I tripped on. Adam let go of me. I went forward spilling to the ground not taking him with me. Adam was not impressed with Grady. I wasn’t really either but that’s just the way it goes at times. It’s not like I am a clumsy sort of person. It can be a bit daunting though being the only eyes of the operation. I was thankful Adam had let me go because frankly if he had gone down with me, we both could have gotten hurt.  Other than that, the walk was really nice.

I decided to walk us up over Mullaway Headland and took a couple of pictures to share with you. View of Mullaway Beach on Mullaway Headland  This shows a view of Mullaway beach heading over towards cabins beach.  The name of the headland on the far side is Oceanview Headland. There is a walking path there that takes you to Mullawarra.

 

View of Cabins Beach on Mullaway HeadlandThis is a view of Cabins Beach which we often walk to as well. There are two set of rock pools. We normally like to go to Cabins Beach at low tide to wallow in the shallow water of the south rock pool. There is also a path that takes you to the top of Darkum Headland. We didn’t do that walk today because I wasn’t so happy about the fall that happened. Woolgoolga is the town that you can see in the left corner of the shot. There has been quite a bit of beach erosion on  most of the beaches.

Today as we were walking I noticed how the waves were making this really beautiful spray. I tried to take a shot to share with you. I didn’t think I had accomplished what I wanted to do but I actually did. I swear you could see rainbows but the camera didn’t capture it. I still think it’s quite lovely though.

Seaspray In this shot, you can see Woolgoolga better but I really was happy with the water spray. I was pretty pleased with myself. Next time we go out, I don’t think we will take the boys (dogs) with us because their  panting gets picked up when I am trying to capture the sound of the birds on our walks.

I don’t mean to brag about the wonderful place I call home but I do take pride in the beauty that I get to experience every day. I am truly one very blessed lady!

 

Art Thou Peaceful


When I look at the ocean and see the colours of the setting sun, I am filled with peace which grows every time I see it. The cloud reminds me of a seahorse or dragon  filled with hope as well as peace.Mullaway Beach Dusk

Photos, Video and my first attempt at an Audio Blog featuring Wreckage on Safety Beach with Video.


My friend, Sally, kept telling Adam and I about how spectacular the wreckage of a scuttle (schooner) please excuse my lack of knowledge on the subject of what exactly the wreckage is but it is a ship of some sort not far from Woolgoolga Beach. She told us about it yesterday. In fact, she told us about it last week but Adam and I just never got out timing right except today we went at low tide which inspired me for today’s blog.  We have seen this before but today it was more exposed than we have ever seen it.

My blog today is going to be a proverbial smorgasbord of photos, sound, and actual footage of the wreckage.  The audio blog is 33:58 minutes long. I hope Adam and I don’t bore you too much. We know how very fortunate we are to be where we are. I love sharing and thought this might help you explore my area in a really cool way. I want to put a shout out to prayingforoneday because I took a pic especially for his missus of a king charles spaniel.

first glimpse of Safety Beach view of Woolgoola from the top part of the steps to Safety Beach The Sheoak I had Adam feelThe rock outcropping off of Safety Beach crossing Darkum creek with a view of Woopi Sponge Darkum Creek empties into the ocean For Ms Shaun a king charles spaniel shot of Darkum creek The wreckage The shell that didn't get away The first photo is a glimpse of Safety beach when you approach from the walking path from the street. Second photo view from top of stairs to go down to Safety Beach which gives you a glimpse of Woolgoolga Headland. Third photo the She-oak Adam felt. Fourth photo is crossing Darkum Creek and you can see out to the ocean. There is an outcropping of rocks that kayakers and canoers love going to. I love the spot to play in the surf. We can drive here if I am lazy or walk from our place with the dogs. It’s a nice walk. Fifth photo is showing Woolgoolga. The creek is also flowing out to the ocean. Sixth photo is of a sponge.  Seventh photo is of a King Charles Spaniel with mistress. Eighth shot is looking back towards Darkum Headland you can see the creek flowing. Ninth is the still of the wreckage. Final shot is of the shell that didn’t get away. Adam teased me! I actually thought he had thrown it away because he didn’t reveal it to me again until I found it on my desk which I refuse to show due to the cluttered state I keep it in.

Lastly I will leave you with the footage that I took which I posted to Youtube. I hope you enjoyed the blog. I might have gone over board with the audio/video but I will find out if anyone decides to commit.

I know the audio is a bit flaky due to the wind but you hear it I think much better on the audio blog. If you like this sort of thing, please let me know if you want to see more.

Velvet is a deceased guide dog who was a ginger retriever I mentioned her and just realized you wouldn’t know who in the world Velvet is.

Here’s a link from the Coffs Advocate about the wreck:

http://www.coffscoastadvocate.com.au/news/king-tides-reveal-block-buster/1346335/

Black Cockatoos Coming To Roost


Yesterday evening I decide to make dinner on the Barbie. We have a nice back deck and since summer is coming to an end it’d be great to use the deck as much as possible because we aren’t sure how many more warm evenings we’ll be having.  Adam was sitting on the swing while I was at the table. We had finished eating and were listening to the birds when I noticed all the black cockatoos coming to the huge gum tree at 8 Orchid Road which is 2 doors down or up from our place depending on how you look at it.  I had my iPhone with me and took this video.

There was also a Currawong call in there because one was on 10’s antenna. You can hear cicadas and crickets  join the cacophony of sound which I love so much. Since I couldn’t figure out the zoom on the video part of my iPhone, I ran into the house and grabbed my Pentax that I used it for this close up.

I have never noticed so many black cockatoos coming in to roost at 8. At one point there was 12 that I counted. I was thankful for being able to do so last night. I want to get dinner done earlier tonight so that I can try to set up a tripod so that my video won’t be so shaky. It’s kinda hard to do great video when your hand is shaking.

As the sun was going down, I noticed the stars coming out one by one. Amazing! I was blown away. I actually began to notice a constellation coming out. Then the flying foxes (bats) were flying over and I was agog. I am really very blessed to be where I was. I felt like a little kid. I hadn’t taken time to notice the beauty of dusk. I would have stayed out longer but the mozzies (mosquitos) were eating me. I didn’t put on any Aeroguard. I took it for granted (the beauty of dusk) and pray I will be able to capture the dusk again today with all the wonder that I found last night.

Where ever you are in your part of the world, enjoy the beauty that it beholds. Much love and peace, Yaussiechick

black cockatoos