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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/

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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!

July 3rd


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This is a photo of my father taken  I know not when but I am assuming when he was stationed in Korea. Today he died 21 years ago. In two years, it will be the 23rd anniversary of his passing. It occurred to me the same amount of time from his passing will be the same age I was when he passed away in two years.

Sometimes time just slips by and you don’t notice how quickly it has gone.  Time does heal old wounds. It dulls it a bit but at times, I seem to notice the wound more especially on birthdays, anniversaries, and memorials. My memories of Daddy are mixed to say the least. He did the best he could.  He used to say he was god in the house. He used the Lord’s name in vain and blasted us if we followed that example.

Daddy used to say he was glad he had 3 girls because we all look like him. I think of us 3 youngest girls, I look the most like him. I was his helper. I loved helping him outside with the yard or the animals we had. I know he wanted to be a veterinarian. I wanted to be one too except, I didn’t follow through.  Daddy loved to sing songs with different words. I find myself doing that too.  Daddy had a huge ego. I don’t have a huge ego. I am a lot more humble than he ever was.

I know Daddy is with me always. He really treasured Cassie, Margaret’s daughter, because he always called her his little angel. I know he would be proud of her too. I know he watches over us.  He may not have been perfect but he loved us the best way he could.

Daddy this song is for you! The years fly by but I hear you sometimes in my dreams.  I always think of you fondly! Much love always!

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!

 

Kimberley, Western Australia Part Two Windjana Gorge/Tunnel Creek


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The following day after we visited the prison tree in Derby Adam and I journeyed again on the Gibbs River Road in the Land Criuser to visit Windjana Gorge. Adam is happy for me to decide where we are going. The night before in our motel room I read to him the sights to be seen in the area from the brochures I had collected. Since I am the only driver in our party, we didn’t want to journey too far on the Gibbs River Road because I would have to drive us back to Derby. The Gibbs River Road could take you all the way to Kununurra but Adam and I didn’t have time to do the entire journey there. Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek can be driven to off of the Gibbs Rivers Road by taking Leopold Downs Road.

Millions of years ago this area was part of the seafloor. You can see evidence of the fossils in some of the rocks. It was spectacular walking through a gap in the wall to get inside. It looked so tiny but you can walk through it easily. As I looked around, I noticed vegetation growing on the walls of the Gorge.

View from the car park.

View from the car park.

 
view as walking toward Windjana Gorge
Inside the gap of Windjana Gorge. You can imagine what it would have been like underwater.

Inside the gap of Windjana Gorge. You can imagine what it would have been like underwater.

Fresh water crocodiles in the swimming hole.

Fresh water crocodiles in the swimming hole.

water hole in the gorge

water hole in the gorge

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trees and vegetation growing on the walls of the gorge.

trees and vegetation growing on the walls of the gorge.

close up of wall

view heading back towards the gap to go to car park.

view heading back towards the gap to go to car park.

The gap which lead you back to the car park.

The gap which lead you back to the car park.

inside the gap

inside the gap

fossils in the rock

fossils in the rock

another fossil in the rock

another fossil in the rock

I realize I am not the best photographer. I just thought I would share what I have taken with you incase you are curious what it might look like. I only have 2 pictures of Tunnel Creek. They are not very good because there was hardly any light. Basically, it’s a creek that is in a tunnel/cave. You need to have a torch (flashlight) with you when go and be prepared to get wet. It can be slippery.

There are lots of things to see and do in the Kimberley. Adam and I have only scratched the surface. My next installment will be on Broome.